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MUED 501: Research and Scholarship

Library research tools and methods to use in music education.

Music Articles in Journals

If you are looking for articles on a topic and do not know which journals they may be contained in, please use a periodical database to search for them. 

If you already know the title of the journal you want, or want to browse what journals are available, they are cataloged in the OSU Libraries Catalog.  They can be searched by the name of the periodical or found by searching using a broad subject search, such as Music - Periodicals.

There are a variety of electronic journals about music available by library subscription or full-text within various databases. They can be found in two ways: through their OSU Libraries Catalog records, or from the complete E-Journals list  linked on the Libraries' home page.

Music Databases

Online resources for music research at OSU Libraries include both online reference sources and several databases that index scholarly music literature. Links to full-text are included for many of the articles found here. Below are listed some of the most useful resources for music.

Music Education Databases

In addition to the resources available in music, it is also useful to be familiar with the general education resources as well. They often include important literature on music education. Also included are the major Psychology databases, which can sometimes contain relevant research.

Finding Books and Scores

Find Books in 1Search by author, title, subject or keyword. The Library of Congress Subject Headings books (located at the Reference Desk) can aid you in choosing useful subject terms.

Scores are also searchable in 1Search. Try using the composer as author. Scores are also listed under their form, such as Harpsichord music or Symphonies - Scores.

Music books and scores are located on the 5th floor.

Choosing the OSU Libraries + Summit scope option in 1Search will also find books and scores at our partner Summit libraries, and you can put in a request for these to be sent to you here at OSU.

Music Copyright

  • Copyright for Music Librarians  (Music Library Association)   A resource for anyone interested in issues of copyright as they apply to the fields of music and music librarianship.
  • PD Info: Public domain music   Provides users with information on how to identify published music in the public domain, and how to confirm a particular work's public domain status. Extremely useful for performers and music arrangers, and anyone else who seeks royalty-free music.
  • ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Performers)  This is a membership trade association of over 145,000 U.S. composers, songwriters and publishers of every kind of music. It licenses and distributes royalties for the non-dramatic public performances of their copyrighted works. The Society makes giving and obtaining permission to perform music simple for both creators and users of music.

Identifying Peer Reviewed Sources

Using research that has been evaluated by other experts in the field (peer reviewed or refereed) is an efficient way of finding research of value. Some ways to identify if the research is peer-reviewed:

  • Use the database: some databases consist entirely (or almost entirely) of peer-reviewed literature (for example: PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts, Abstracts in Anthropology, ERIC)
  • Many databases allow you to LIMIT your search to peer-reviewed or scholarly literature (the EBSCOhost databases like Academic Search Premier for example)
  • Check journal's entry in Ulrich's, reference books located at the library Information Desk, with information about almost all periodicals published worldwide, including an icon noting peer reviewed. (NOTE: there is now an online version of Ulrich's--see link below!)
  • Check the journal's editorial policy statement for an explicit statement (generally small print at the front of the issue, or visit the journal's web page). Look for a list of editors, which can be an implicit indication of peer review.
  • Ask a librarian for assistance

Other ways to identify scholarly articles:

  • Look for common characteristics of scholarly works, such as
    • easily identifiable author names and affiliations
    • an abstract, introduction, methodology, conclusions
    • citation of others' works
    • a complete list of references
  • Determine if article is written by a scholar in the field for other researchers (rather than the general public)

The University of Arizona Library has a web page and tutorial on identifying the differences between popular and scholarly articles at

MLA Citation Style

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers this guide for formatting citations in MLA style: