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Performing Arts Research Guide: Finding Journal Articles & Databases

This research guide is for students and faculty members studying all aspects of the performing arts.

How to Find Journal Articles

For our example search, we want to search for journal articles that discuss Guerrilla Girls and feminist themes in contemporary art for a scholarly research paper assigned in an Art & Design class. To begin, we will start at the Sacred Heart University Library homepage at

To start our example search, we will select one of the “Key Databases” from our list to the right. For this search, we’ll use JSTOR. To access the database, we need to hover over the “Search” tab on the menu bar at the top of the library homepage and select “Databases A-Z” to take us to an alphabetical list of databases from the library.

From the "A-Z Databases" list, click on the letter "J."

From the menu below, we will select the link for JSTOR at the top of the list of databases

The JSTOR main page presents a one-box basic search. For our search, we want to use the advanced search option. Click on the link for “Advanced Search” and then click on “Advanced Search” again from the pull-down menu.

The “Advanced Search” page allows us to search with multiple keywords linked by what are called Boolean operators. Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT are used to combine or exclude items in an advanced search. Using Boolean operators can yield more focused results from your search query. When using AND, you are searching for only results that include both keywords inserted into the separate search boxes. OR will yield results that include at least one of the keywords in the search boxes. NOT allows you to exclude a particular term from the search, like having a search for cats that excludes dogs (cats NOT dogs). For our purposes, we want a search that yields results combining “Guerrilla Girls” AND “feminism,” so we can retrieve results that only include both keywords.

This search yields a manageable 23 results.

From here you can sift through the results, read and download articles, and generate pre-formatted citations for your bibliography. Click "Cite this item" and a window pops up that presents copyable, formatted citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago style for the selected article, as shown below.

Additionally, after clicking on the title on the results page, you can send an article permalink to your own email, as seen below.     

Key Databases

  • Academic Search Premier   
  • Multi-disciplinary resource with full-text articles from nearly 4,500 journals including 3,600 peer-reviewed titles, many from 1975 forward. Searchable cited references for 1,000 titles, including titles relevant to Art & Design. For assistance searching Academic Search Premier, see the video below.

  • Artstor
  • The Artstor Digital Library features an unparalleled range of images from some of the world’s leading museums, photo archives, scholars, and artists in one easily-navigated repository. For help searching the repository, click on the Artstor icon below.

  • JSTOR  
  • Multidisciplinary resource, which houses a significant number of resources of interest to Art & Design, with full-text articles from thousands of scholarly & peer-reviewed journals.For help with searching JSTOR, click on the icon below

The DOAJ includes several open-access, full-text scholarly journals focused on Art & Design. Full-text journal articles can be searched across all journals, which are browsable by title and subject. For assistance searching the directory, click the DOAJ logo below to access their helpful FAQ page.

The following titles are a selection of prominent open-access journal titles in Performing Arts:


Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture
ISSN: 1947-5403 (Online)
Double blind peer review
Subject: Music and books on Music: Music
Date added to DOAJ: 23 Feb 2010


ISSN: 1122-9365 (Print); 2283-5644 (Online)
Double blind peer review
Subject: Language and Literature: Literature (General): Drama: Dramatic representation. The theater
Date added to DOAJ: 24 Nov 2015


Musicology Today
ISSN: 1734-1663 (Print); 2353-5733 (Online)
Double blind peer review
Subject: Music and books on Music: Musical instruction and study
Date added to DOAJ: 11 May 2015


Journal of Performance Magic
ISSN: 2051-6037 (Online)
Peer review
Subject: Language and Literature: Literature (General): The performing arts. Show business
Date added to DOAJ: 13 May 2015

Artstor Digital Library


Use the Artstor Digital Library to access over 2 million images and multimedia items from their collections. All items are cleared for educational use. Find images from performances to costumes from different cultures. 


Also, check-out Shared Shelf Commons open access images!