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Summary of Activities, 2011-12

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie, Editor-in-Chief

Overview: All is well at RILM. We have had a productive year, maintaining the same high level of new record creation reached a couple of years ago despite decreases in staff hours, thanks to improved workflow efficiencies. The national committees are stable, contributing a similar number of records as in recent years. The online database continues to be updated every month. Simultaneous-user access to RILM ended in November 2011, and now all RILM subscribers have unlimited access. We continue to work with our distributors, EBSCO and ProQuest, to improve the online interfaces, and both have added new features this year for the benefit of RILM’s users.

Database Growth: From 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012, 37,681publications (not including reviews) were added to the database, and 40,385 records were given complete editorial and indexing treatment. In addition, 3309 reviews were added. The chart on the last page shows the number of main accession records and reviews in each RILM year from 1967 to the present. There are now are nearly 700,000 records in RILM.

Committees: RILM national committees submitted a total of 17,802 main bibliographic records to the database, 711 review records, and 12,678 abstracts. These numbers have been fairly consistent now for some years. (Last year, for example, they submitted 18,695 main records, 1201 reviews, and 13,699 abstracts.) RILM committees in China, Russia, Germany, and the U.S. submitted more than two thousands records each, and the following committees submitted a hundred or more: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom. Other committees that contributed valuable content this year include Argentina, Canada, Guatemala, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, Macedonia, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey. RILM acknowledges and thanks all national committees for their valuable contributions to our project. Without them, one of the strongest aspects of the database—its international coverage—would be far less robust. For a list of all national committees and their members, see

As always, the RILM International Center in New York does its best to add publications not contributed by the national committees or by authors. This year 19,879 main records and 2,598 reviews originated at the International Center. Because the Center has limited or no access to publications in many countries, the only way to ensure their representation in RILM is with local help. To this end, RILM would like to establish new committees in countries that do not actively participate at present, and to add contributors to committees that are not able to keep up with their country’s publications. If you are interested in becoming involved in the RILM project, or if you know of colleagues who might be interested in doing so, please contact Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie ( or Zdravko Blažeković (

Author Submissions: If you are a music researcher, do check the RILM database to be sure your complete bibliography is represented. Doing so supports the efforts of our national committees and staff and helps to assure RILM’s comprehensive coverage. Moreover, now that RILM is searched some 800,000 times every week, the presence of your publications and those of your colleagues is one of the best ways to let researchers around the world discover your work. The submissions process is easy: Simply log into the system on the RILM website at (creating a login takes only a minute), where you can search your name and see which of your publications are in RILM and which are missing. You can add new abstracts to already existing records (in English or in any other language or alphabet), and you can key in new records quickly. If you would like more information or help, we would be pleased to assist you.

We have worked on promoting these forms in the last couple of years, and the most recent development is an interview in the American Musicological Society’s forthcoming AMS Newsletter with Bonna Boettcher and Julie Schnepel of our U.S. committee. In the last 12 months we received roughly 750 records from authors in 30 countries.

Indexing Matters: RILM indexing headwords change over time to reflect shifts and trends in the disciplines and sub-disciplines of music research. New headwords introduced over the last two years include the following:

Archaeological sites
Bibliographies—by place of publication
Biography studies
Copyright and patents was split into two headwords
Disability studies
Film music changed to film music and television music
Gravestones and cenotaphs
Instrument builders—[instrument]
[Islam headwords were revised]
Minority studies
Practicing and rehearsing
Sound recordings—engineers and producers

Bibliolore: Since its inception in October 2009, the RILM blog, Bibliolore (, has had over 72,000 visitors. Over the past year its audience has grown substantially—from 2,064 visitors in May 2011 to 4,664 in May 2012. Indeed, it is now rare for a day to go by with fewer than 100 visitors to the blog. Most come from North America, but people from throughout the world are also visiting, and each month the tally of different visiting countries is close to 100. In mid-March of this year we unveiled a new design for Bibliolore. We welcome you if you have not visited yet and hope those of you who have read read the blog continue to do so.

The post that we reported as being the most popular last year, “Not a universal language” ( has been superseded by two newer ones: “Sexual attraction by genre” ( and “Beethoven and Peanuts” ( Both have benefitted from being re-blogged and re-tweeted.

Facebook and Twitter: RILM is using other social media as well to communicate with our community in as many ways as possible. We have had a Facebook page for many years now, and our blog posts appear there along with other newsworthy items. Just in the last few weeks we have created a RILM Twitter account. You can “friend” our Facebook page, and you can follow us on Twitter, where our handle is RILMMusicLit.

RILM Online: RILM continues to be available through both the EBSCOHost and the ProQuest platforms.

EBSCO: EBSCO has added several browsing features that better exploit the power of RILM’s hierarchical index terms, providing for separate browsable lists of “Names”, “Subjects”, “Instrument families”, and “Countries”. Once a term is chosen from a list, a user may drill down to more specific index entries under that term, or jump directly to records containing that term. There are also more links between related records now, from volumes of essays to their individual chapters and vice versa, and between reviews and reviewed items.

ProQuest: ProQuest has also made new browsing features available from the Advanced Search page on the ProQuest platform. Included are “Person”, “RILM topics”, “Instrument”, “Location”, and “Ethnic groups”. Last year ProQuest launched its new ProQuest platform aimed at replacing its CSA Illumina platform, and since then, users have had the option to switch to the new platform whenever they like. Within the next several months the CSA Illumina platform will be discontinued entirely, so if you are ProQuest subscriber that has not yet made the change to the new platform, it is recommended that you do so very soon now.

Usage: The number of searches of the RILM database has increased dramatically in the last few years as you can see below.

FY 2012: 42,489,492
FY 2011: 15,244,364
FY 2010: 8,168,680
FY 2009: 5,967,488

The FY 2012 figure indicates over 3.5 million searches per month, which is over 800,000 per week. Much of this increase is likely attributable to multi-database searching possibilities on both EBSCO and ProQuest.

RILM yearaccessionsreviews

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie