Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Musicians! RILM or JSTOR: Deciding Where to Start

Do you look at our Electronic Resources page and wonder where to start?  Do the acronyms and abbreviations bamboozle you?

Two of our most popular and useful resources for musicians are RILM and JSTOR.  There are two main differences, and once you understand those, you're better able to decide where to start!  

It's the difference between subject specific and multi-disciplinary; and the difference between full-text and abstract or indexing services.  Whatever you're consulting, you need to know what's in there.  (It's like knowing whether a shop will have the kind of merchandise you're looking for!)

RILM consists of abstracts (summaries) of scholarly writing on all kinds of musical subjects.  The abstract helps you decide if the article or book will be of use to you, and there are all the details of where to find it.  The Whittaker Library staff are here to help staff and students access the information they need for a teaching or essay assignment.  It's a subject-specific abstracting service. It provides directions towards the info you need, but it doesn't actually give you the full-text information.

JSTOR is a huge multi-disciplinary database of full-text articles.  Unlike RILM, it gives you full-text articles.  However, whilst universities subscribe to the whole database, we only subscribe to the music package.  On the other hand, if you find details of an article in another discipline, and it really looks relevant, then come and ask us.  We can try to obtain it from another library for you.

This blogpost is about a couple of our resources that musicians might find useful.  We could tell you about many more!  In due course we'll also share information about drama and dance resources, too.

We are the Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, here to help our staff and students access the information they need to be effective creative artists.

No comments: