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Using RILM

A guide on how to use RILM, a database on scholarly works concerning music.

Basic Searching in RILM

Doing a basic search in RILM is pretty similar to doing a Google search!

If you would like to check out a video tutorial as well please visit the EBSCO Basic Search Video Tutorial.


The basic text box search looks like pretty similar to it as well:


To do a basic search, doing a little brainstorming of words is a good idea! To start with, it is usually good to start with a search that covers as many of your basic ideas as possible without limiting the results too much.


There are a couple other features that are very useful as well. One of the them is "Subjects." These are the way that an author identifies the topic that the article is about. This is also a useful way of finding out how this database spells names like "Shostakovich" (you do not need to worry about the accent marks, but the spelling is very important for getting the most results that you can). In this case, it is spelled "Sostakovic."

Just changing the spelling increased the number of results!

Then you can narrow it down after reviewing the results, and seeing what kinds of words the writers use to describe the same ideas.

After you have done the initial search, there are some useful tools to the left of the results as well.

There are options like "Linked Full Text" which limits the results to articles available through this resource online, however many articles are available in different formats (including online) and to the best way find them is to use the "Find It" button which is both on the search screen and on the individual records as well (this searches UMD's catalog and most of the online resources that are subscribed that are available through the university).

You can also change the "Subjects"

You can limit the Source Types (to things like journals), Publication Dates, and Publication as well, which all can be useful as well.

Linked Full Text is also available from the basic search screen...

From the Basic Search screen, you can also limit by the Date (which is great if you need current material)


Content compiled/Written by G. D.

Finding Your Article

When you find an article that suits your needs, there are a few methods that you can use to access it.

If you are lucky, you will see something to the left of the article just below "Detailed Record" that says something like "Linked Full Text," "PDF Full Text," or "HTML Full Text." In this means that all you have to do is just click on that link to find your article!

If it is not there, then you can look around the page for a "Find it" button, which similarly near "Detailed Record" on the page.

If the "Find it" button is missing, you will have to add an extra step to your article search.

When you are looking for a Dissertation or an article in a Book, often the "Find it" button does not work. So in this case you also will need to add an extra step. In the case of Dissertations you can search for those through the "Dissertations" category in Research Port, and the "Dissertation and Theses : Full Text" is particularly useful in this case.

In the case of Articles in Books, you will need to look for the Title of the Book in the library's catalog (remembering that chapters of books are not indexed, so if you just search for the title of the article of interest you will not find it).


Finding an Article from a Book

The information about the source of the article or book is usually in the a field called "Source" "Dissertation Source" or "Collected work"

So if you wanted to find the article "Interpreting Beethoven's 'Tempest' sonata through topics, gestures, and agency" you would go to the library's catalog...

Then you would put the title of the book (which is under the field "Collected work") into the basic search box, change the drop-down menu to title begins with (remembering that beginning words like "The" and "A" are removed), and then search the catalog to find out if it is there.



Finding Articles through Research Port

First, go back to homepage of Research Port, and then look in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. There is a useful feature here called "Looking for a Specific Article?" that you can use instead!

All you need to do this search is to figure out is the Journal the article appears in. You can do this by looking at the record again. If you scan down the record past the "Abstract..."

This should appear under the "Source" label in the full record. This also tells you that it was volume 44 (and that it is on pages 55-66).

Copy this and paste it into the "Journal Name" box of the "Looking for a specific article" search.


If you include the Title of the article as well (which is at the top of the record), sometimes this feature will take you directly to the article. Other times, you might have to make sure to note information like the Volume, Number, and the Year to find your article.

It is also possible that we own a copy of the journal as well.


To find out if there is a copy in the library's catalog, you need to look for the Journal Title in the Library's catalog.

You can do this by going to the Library Homepage,

then going to the Catalog, and then clicking on the "Journal" tab...

Then searching for the Journal...

An important thing to remember: you need to leave out initial articles (like "The" and "A" and even ones in other languages like "Die" or "Der"). So in the case of the journal "Die Musikforschung" the first word of the title ("Die") must be left out.

After you have found out whether it is in the catalog, you can use that information that you noted earlier (particularly the Year and the Volume/Issue number) to check in the record to see if the library has the volume that you need. You do this by clicking on the "Availability" link in the record.

The library does not catalog article titles, so if you try to look for the article that way IT WILL NOT SHOW UP.

After you have discovered whether the item is in the library, you can check the Location (this article is in the Performing Arts Library) and the Call Number (in the case of the example it is "ML5.M9437, yrbk. 60"), and whether it is Stacks or Folio (in this case, it is in "Stacks"), because all of these change where the journal is kept.

Occasionally, there might be a note such as "Missing: no. 2" and in that case, you might be able to make a request through InterLibrary Loan (which you can do by clicking the "Find It" button at the top of the record).

Generally, journals cannot be checked out of the library (so you either have to read it in the library, or you have to make a photocopy of it).

Content compiled/written by G. D.