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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Music Quals and Prelims Guide (DMA and PhD): Reading citations


This page will walk you through the process of decoding a citation and accessing the resources indexed in the main music and performing arts databases.

We subscribe to these databases, which are produced by vendors. The interface and results lists for different databases usually look pretty similar if they are from the same vendor. Therefore we've organized this guide by which vendor offers the database:

Reading a Citation in ProQuest Databases
Reading a Citation in EBSCO Databases​

Reading a Citation in ProQuest Databases

The International Index to Music Periodicals and the International Index to the Performing Arts are both offered by the same vendor (ProQuest), so their interfaces and citation styles are nearly identical. The short citation for a journal article in a list of search results from IIMP and IIPA looks like this:

parts of a citation

The journals indexed in IIMP and IIPA publish many other formats in addition to articles—reviews, interviews, lectures, and book excerpts, to name a few. ProQuest uses the short citation style pictured above for all of these formats, so it can be hard to determine the format of an item from the short citation alone. For example, the following short citation is for a book review, but it looks exactly like a citation for an article.


Brief citation

Clicking on the title, however, will lead to a full citation that lists the document type.


Full citation


Reading a Citation in EBSCO databases

The results lists in Ebsco databases now offer icons to the left of each result that tell you what an item is. However, the tips below are still useful.


Music Index Online, the International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance, and RILM are all available in EBSCO. A citation for a journal article in a list of search results from any of these databases looks like this:

journal citation

Another way to determine what type of item you’re looking at in an EBSCO result list is to hold your cursor over the magnifying glass image, which brings up a popup window with a more detailed citation.

article record

The publication type is also listed in the full citation for the item, which you can access by clicking on the title.



These databases also index chapters and essays published in books.

book citation

A few clues in this short citation tell you that this essay is in a book, not a journal. First, the publication date includes only the year; journal citations will also list the month or season of publication, since they publish several issues a year. Second, there is no volume or issue number listed in the citation; a journal citation would include this information. You can also find the publication type in the popup window or the full citation.

The full text of book excerpts is rarely available online; you will need to search for the item in the library catalog. Be sure to search for the title of the book (e.g., The Work of Opera: Genre, Nationhood, and Sexual Difference), not the title of the essay or chapter.



You may also encounter dissertations when searching in these databases. You can identify an item as a dissertation because it lists a dissertation source in the short citation:

dissertation citation


Music & Performing Arts Library

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Subjects:Dance, Music, Theatre