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Music 171 -- Introduction to the World's Music -- Dr. Donald Henriques

Finding journal articles

Once you have some in depth background on a subject area from books, the next type of source you might consult is journal articles. Scholarly articles provide expert information that complements what is typically found in books in two ways:

  • Articles tend to cover more specific topics or aspects of a topic that might be more specialized.
  • Articles often have more recent scholarship, the latest thinking from experts in a field.

As with books, you may be searching for a specific article based on a citation you've found, or you may just be looking for articles related to a topic. In addition, you may want to look at important journals in a field or area of specialization, to keep up with the latest research in that area.

Help for finding journal articles

Finding a specific article

If you have a citation for a specific article that you would like to find, use the Citation Linker. This tool can be found from the library home page by choosing OneSearch's "Advanced" button, then choosing "Find a Citation" from the menu at the top of the page.

Fill in whatever information you have about the article, and submit your search. The Citation Linker will search across the library's databases, journal subscriptions, and collections to see where we have access to the article. It will provide a link to online full text if available, or information on print or microfilm copies in the library if we have them.

If we don't have access to the full text, it will give you a link where you can place a request through Interlibrary Loan. (It should even fill out the form for you.) Articles are usually received through Interlibrary Loan as electronic copies, so you will get an email notice and you will be able to download the article from the ILLiad system.

Help for finding specific articles

Video: Finding a specific article

Searching for articles on a topic

There are many ways to search for articles! Whichever source you are searching, remember to try different keyword combinations, and adjust your terms to be more general or more specific depending on your results.


With OneSearch, you can can choose to search for "Everything" or for "Articles Only." Either option will search across most of the article databases we have available. This can be good for a quick and easy search of a large number of articles! On the other hand, depending on your search keywords, the results may be full of items that aren't related to your topic, making it harder to find the articles you are interested in.

General databases

You can find general-purpose databases from the library home page by looking under "Databases" and choosing "Getting Started." You'll see databases here that may be familiar, like JSTOR and EBSCO's Academic Search. These databases give you results that are a little more focused than OneSearch, but they still cover a wide variety of topics.

When using databases, note that they often include subject terms. Just like with OneSearch, these can be good ideas for search terms and may lead you to related items.

Subject-specific databases

On the library home page, under "Databases," you will also see a link for "By Subject." This page provides lists of databases recommended for research in broad subject areas, including databases for Music.

The largest article database for music is Music Index. When you search here, you can be sure that your results will be focused on music topics. Results for "Dvorak" will refer to the composer Antonin Dvorak, for example, and not the meteorologist Vernon Dvorak.

Keep in mind that it may be useful to search databases on other subjects, such as history, philosophy, or multicultural studies.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a huge database of articles and other scholarly literature, and it can be a good way to search beyond what is found in the library's databases. When using Scholar, follow the link from the library's website. Under "Databases," choose A-Z List, then under "G" find the link for Google Scholar (with Fresno State library access links). If you use this link, Scholar will provide links to full text available through the library as well as links to articles that are freely available on the internet.

If you find something interesting in Scholar but it doesn't have a link to the full text, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Help with Interlibrary Loan

Video: Searching for articles on a topic

Browsing journals by title

When researching for a project, it's common to search for individual articles as described above. But you may also want to look at articles published in a particular journal. This can be a source of ideas for topics within a subject area, and it can also be a good way to keep up the latest research in a field that interests you.

We don't have a great way to search for journals by topic at the moment, but you can choose Journals by Title from the library home page to search for any journal that includes "music," "musicology," "ethnomusicology," "music education," or other terms in its title or description.

As you find articles of interest, make a note of which journal they are published in, and consider whether you might want to look at other articles published in that journal.

Some of the journals you may be interested in looking at for this class include:

Video: Browsing journals by title