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Music Education Resources

Basic resources for music education research.

Identifying Periodical Types

  • Scholarly journal (also known as peer-reviewed, juried, refereed, or professional): contains articles and research by scholars and experts in a specific field who wish to share their research with other professionals. Articles are usually based on original research and contain author credentials, abstracts and bibliographies. 
  • Trade publication or trade paper: a commercial periodical restricted to the interests of a trade or industry and includes all or some of the following: current news items, product reviews and advertisements, new publication reviews, job advertisements, industry specific regulatory information, articles on new techniques/trends, patents, statistical data, upcoming events/meetings, etc.
  • Popular magazine: contains current events and general interest articles written by journalists and freelance writers for the general public. Author credentials, abstracts and bibliographies are usually not included. Popular magazines are typically published weekly or monthly. Use a general index or database to find articles in popular magazines.

Searching for Journal Articles

An important thing to note is the library's catalog does not have the titles of individual articles, only the title of the journal itself. So, in order to search for specific journal articles, Database Finder must be used. It is an electronic resource that allows you to:

  • Search for journal articles and books in databases, e-journals, and library catalogs.
  • Access databases and e-journals from on and off campus.
  • Search an individual database OR search several simultaneously.
  • Search databases and the UM Libraries' catalog simultaneously.
  • Find full-text articles.
  • Save lists of databases, e-journals, searches and articles in My Database Finder.
  • E-mail or save citations.

The UM Libraries subscribe to over 300 databases, so it is not possible or necessary to know about all of them. Some databases cover a wide range of subject areas and types of sources, while others are more specialized. You will become familiar with several databases as you begin to research in a particular area of interest.

Because of the way that databases are developed, there may be duplication between them, and you may find the same articles from core journals appearing in general and subject-specific database searches.

General/Multidisciplinary Databases

These broad databases cover an extremely wide spectrum of information that often includes both popular and scholarly sources. Academic Search Complete, which you will search during Library Day, contains information about articles in over 7,000 periodicals, many of which are available in full-text online.

You should begin your research in a general or multidisciplinary database in order to focus your research question and gather background information.

Subject-specific Databases

After you know more about your research topic, you may decide to search for articles in a subject-specific database. These databases are indexes to journals in a specific field; the articles in those journals may be highly technical and use very specialized language. This can be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your familiarity with the field of research.

If you are seeking fairly recent information, you may not find articles in subject-specific databases and specialized scholarly journals. It takes time to conduct original research, analyze results, and have an article accepted for publication.

When you do decide to search a subject-specific database, consider the following questions:

  • Who cares about the topic you are researching (who would write or read about it)?
  • What academic fields would your topic fall under?

Music Education Databases

Music Education Journals