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SEMN 256: Music and Identity: Journal Articles

Finding Journal Articles

Some essential peer-reviewed journals that discuss popular music:

Popular Music & Society
Popular Music
American Music
Journal of Popular Music Studies
(our library does not subscribe)


Journal Indexes

Indexes tell you who published what - and give you citations with the author, article title, journal title, volume number, publication date, and page number. Indexes do not always give you the full text of articles.  

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature - major tool for finding sources on Music
Journals on music and related fields.
Produced by Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale, New York.
Covers publications from 1967 - present.

Humanities Abstracts with Full Text
Covers English language periodicals in the humanities. Feature articles, interviews, obituaries, bibliographies, and reviews of plays, operas, ballets, dance, musicals, movies, television and radio. Detailed abstracts.
Coverage: Indexing - 1984 - present; Abstracting - 1994 - present.

America: History and Life
America: History and Life is a bibliography of articles on the history and culture of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present.
Coverage: Indexing 1964 - present

MLA International Bibliography
Covers sources in Language and Literature

Sociological Abstracts
Indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral science. Coverage: 1952-present

Social Sciences Abstracts with Full Text
Indexes and abstracts s a wide range of interdisciplinary fields covered in social sciences journals. Coverage: Indexing 1983- present

General Indexes and Newspapers

ArticleFirst  General and Multidisciplinary

Readers' Guide Abstracts (1983-present) General and Multidisciplinary

Readers' Guide Retrospective (1890-1982) General and Multidisciplinary


New York Times (1851 to 3 years ago)

New York Times (1995 to present)

More Newspapers from Kalamazoo College Library - Online and in Print


Full-Text Databases

Full text databases include citations and the full text of the article.

JSTOR - all scholarly sources!
Some of the music titles in JSTOR
JSTOR now includes several major music journals. To search these journals, enter JSTOR and click SEARCH. Check the box next to MUSIC and enter your search terms.

Project MUSE - all scholarly sources!
Some of the music titles in Project MUSE:

Latin American Music Review (2001-)
Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture

Academic OneFile
Contains peer-reviewed, full-text articles from leading journals and reference sources. With extensive coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects, Articles available in both PDF and HTML full-text.

Proquest Central

General Reference Center Gold

Full text articles from records in Readers' Guide Abstracts, Social Sciences Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, General Science Abstracts, and Business Abstracts.
(Please note that each periodical can begin on a different month and year.)

Do you have access to a journal?


1.) Online Journals at K
  • Title search on Title of the Journal to locate article in a Full Text Database
2.) Library OneSearch (print)
  • Title search on Title of the Journal to locate print journal
3.) WestCat - Western Michigan's catalog
4.) Interlibrary Loan

 Off-Campus Access to Licensed Resources

Scholarly or Not?

Scholarly Journals and Popular Magazines/Newspapers

Scholarly Journals

  • Authors are scholars or researchers in their fields.
  • Authors cite their sources in footnotes, endnotes, and bibliographies.
  • Individual issues have little or no advertising.
  • Articles must go through a peer-review process.
  • Articles usually report original scholarly research.
  • Most illustrations are charts, figures, or graphs.
  • Authors use the specialized language or jargon of the discipline.

Popular Magazines (Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone)

  • Authors are free lance writers or magazine staff members.
  • Authors may mention sources, but rarely cite them in notes or bibliographies.
  • Individual issues contain many advertisements.
  • There is no peer review process. Articles are reviewed by editors or publishers.
  • Illustrations are numerous and colorful.
  • Articles are meant to inform and entertain an educated audience.
  • Language is written for the general adult audience (no specialized jargon).

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