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Jazz and Popular Music Research Guide

Jazz Perioidcal Databases

Best Music Subject Periodical Databases

Multidisciplinary Periodical Databases

Tips for Finding Newspaper Articles

Scholarly vs. Popular Publications

Scholarly journal articles are usually the most appropriate for academic papers. Characteristics of scholarly publications:

  • Report on primary research
  • Written by experts in the field
  • Written for other researchers/scholars
  • Use terms and language that are discipline-specific
  • Usually include in-text citations and a bibliography of cited sources
  • May include graphs, charts, etc. related to the topic
  • Often are peer reviewed by an editorial board of experts
  • Published by a professional organization or society, university, research center, or scholarly press.

Examples include: Ethnomusicology, Journal of Musicology, American Music, Musical Quarterly, and Popular Music.

Popular newspaper and magazine articles are useful when your topic is so current that scholars haven't written much about it or you need first-hand, contemporaneous reports (such as a newspaper or magazine review by a person who attended a work's premiere). Characteristics of popular publications:

  • Contain general information that appeals to a wide audience
  • Written by journalists or others who are not professionals in that field
  • Use easily understood language
  • Usually do NOT include citations or a bibliography
  • Limited or non-existent editorial review
  • May contain glossy photographs and/or advertisements

Examples include: The New Yorker, Down Beat, Rolling Stone, and Variety.