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Summary of Activities, 2013-14

Overview: It is an exciting time at RILM. Our core bibliographic coverage continues to expand; the RILM national committees remain a central part of our international coverage, and their submissions remain stable (though we always hope for more submissions and new committees); subscriptions are solid, and usage continues to grow. And there are some new projects afoot!

Author submissions: RILM strongly encourages authors to submit records of their publications directly into the database by using the forms at Through these forms, authors can create new bibliographic citations and add abstracts and reviews to existing records. In 2013–14, several hundred main publication records were submitted by authors, as well as a handful of abstracts and reviews to existing RILM records. Be sure to check that all of your publications, and those of your colleagues, are represented in RILM.

Committees: National committees submitted a total of 35,309 bibliographic records, 16,444 abstracts, and 5415 reviews this year. This is a huge increase over last year (when they submitted 15,284 new bibliographic records, 11,824 abstracts, and 1949 reviews). This major increase is due primarily to a large file of over 20,000 records sent from the German committee in January 2014 after a hiatus during which the committee was changing its selection criteria and technical specifications to conform to RILM data specifications. In addition to the records from Germany, several other committees significantly increased their submissions this year, including Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Japan, and Poland. Countries that submitted over 1000 records since 1 July 2013 are the U.S. (5468), China (5115), Germany (20,809), and Russia (1516).

We are delighted to announce the establishment of several new or revitalized RILM committees:

  • Cuba: Tamara Sevila Salas from the Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de la Musica (CIDMUC) and Rosa Marina González Valdés from the Casa de las Americas have agreed to contribute records for Cuban publications.
  • Taiwan: The chair of the previous committee in Taiwan, Kuo Chang-Yang, passed away in 2011. His daughter Kuo Yun-ling is helping to re-establish the committee at the Department of Music of National Taiwan Normal University, along with Pei-Jung Wu, Chen Wen-chong, Lee Ching-huei, and Lin Hsuen-Fu.
  • Australia: At the IAML conference in Vienna 2013, Denise Tobin and Linda Pape expressed interest in restarting the Australian committee. They are just beginning to submit some records to RILM.
  • Sweden: Also last year in Vienna, Kerstin Carpvik and Lena Nettelbladt from Stockholm came forward with an initiative to revitalize the Swedish committee, and they, too, have begun work.

At the moment critical areas with scarce coverage in RILM are the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia, and we would welcome any contacts or suggestions for establishing RILM committees in these regions. In addition, a number of committees are unable to keep up with the scholarly research being published in their countries. If you would like to get involved in the RILM project, we would welcome your participation. Please be in touch with either Zdravko Blažekovic ( or Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie (

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature: This year, some 45,000 new main records and 3,500 review records were added to the RILM Abstracts of Music Literature database. Total record count as of 1 June 2014 stood at 773,692 records.

RILM retrospective abstracts of music literature: Since its launch last year, RILM retrospective abstracts of music literature has been updated with ca. 350 new records every month. RILM Retro has very strong coverage of conference proceedings and Festschriften written in honor of music scholars. Among the document types added since launch are articles in journals not indexed by RIPM, including: Acta musicologicaMusical quarterlyArchiv für Musikwissenschaft, Sammelbände der Internationalen MusikgesellschaftJournal of the American Musicological SocietyJahrbuch für VolksliedforschungCanadian music journalBouwsteenen and tijdschrift der vereeniging voor Noord-Nederland’s muziekgeschiedenisAnuario interamericano de investigacion musical, and Revista musicale Chilena. In addition to articles, reviews published in these journals and other document types have been added as well.

Together RIPM and RILM work to provide access to 250 years of music periodical literature and are designed to complement each other chronologically. RIPM’s Retrospective index to music periodicals offers access to music periodicals that ceased publication before 1967. RILM Abstracts of Music Literature covers music publications that were issued in 1967 and later. RILM retrospective abstracts of music literature covers pre-1967 music publications, including those journals whose post-1967 issues are covered in RILM Abstracts of Music Literature.

Name Authority Control: RILM’s names thesaurus, now with over 42,000 name variants for 16,000 persons, has been implemented on both the EBSCO and ProQuest platforms. Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) numbers are now a required datum for editorial verification of a person’s identity in RILM. From the VIAF number, the RILM database application can obtain and populate a field with ISNI numbers as well.

Indexing matters: In its ongoing quest to make RILM’s indexing as useful to users as possible, in addition to its name authority work, RILM continues to sharpen indexing syntax and to add headwords needed to capture concepts as clearly as possible. New headwords created in 2013–14 include “chorus”, “folklorists”, “gravestones and cenotaphs”, and “medical institutions”.

Bibliolore: Since its inception in October 2009, the RILM blog, Bibliolore, has had over 190,000 visitors. Over the past year its audience has grown, e.g., from 4945 visitors in May 2013 to 5479 in May 2014. It’s rare for a day to pass with fewer than 100 visitors. Most come from North America, but people from all of the other populated continents are visiting it also; each month the tally of different visiting countries is around 100. Last year we reported that “Mozart and folk proverbs” and “Beethoven and Peanuts” were the most-viewed posts; for the past year “Mozart and folk proverbs” is still in first place, with “Music for cats” coming in second. See

Other social media: The RILM blog posts are automatically uploaded to Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. Additionally, Facebook has been useful for communications of RILM events at conferences, such as the “RILM on EBSCO” and “RILM on ProQuest” presentations at the last Music Library Association conference. RILM has over 300 Twitter followers and over 800 Facebook likes.

Usage: The number of searches of RILM continues to increase substantially each year. The following chart shows the numbers covering the 11-month period for which we have statistics this year (1 July through 31 May) compared with the same 11-month period for previous years:

FY 2014: 103,672,473
FY 2013: 71,985,222
FY 2012: 43,930,055
FY 2011: >20,000,000

The FY 2014 figure breaks down to over 9.4 million searches per month, which is over 2 million per week. Much of this increase is likely attributable to EBSCO’s discovery service and other federated searches. The number of full-record views also increased in 2014.

MGG Online: In 2014 Bärenreiter and J. B. Metzler, the publishers of Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG) entered a long-term partnership with RILM to produce MGG Online. MGG Online will include the content of the 1994–2008 print edition of MGG (the 2nd edition) as well as updates, revisions, and additions. Regular updates will position MGG Online to be a foremost reference work for music. Bärenreiter and J. B. Metzler will remain responsible for MGG’s content and will ensure that MGG Online continues to offer up-to-date and authoritative articles. RILM will bring its expertise to bear on the design of the online database and the creation of a user-friendly platform that will be fully equipped with the most advanced search and browse capabilities. With its broad international experience, RILM will also be responsible for the worldwide marketing of MGG Online. More information can be found at (English) and (German).

Roundtable discussions with librarians and musicologists in countries with under-represented content. In our efforts to expand the subscription base and establish new national committees in countries where RILM does not have an adequate presence, RILM’s Executive Editor Zdravko Blažeković began an initiative to organize—jointly, with our sister organizations RISM, RIPM and RIdIM—roundtable meetings with local librarians and scholars. The idea is that through such discussions we can together promote our products and also learn about activities that are occurring locally in many countries around the world. In 2013–14, two such panels occurred:

Beijing, 7 July 2013: Directors of all four R-projects, as well as Dinko Fabris, president of IMS, and the chief librarians of the eight largest music conservatories in China all participated. Its program is online at

Havana, 18-20 April 2014: Directors of all four R-projects as well as librarians and musicologists from Havana participated in this panel. The program is available at

Preparations are underway for similar roundtable discussions in Morelia, Mexico (January 2015) and Astana, Kazakhstan (July 2015).

RILM’s 50th Anniversary and IAML/IMS 2015: RILM’s 50th anniversary coincides (nearly) with the IAML/IMS joint conference coming to New York 21–26 June 2015. The theme for this conference was chosen in part with the anniversary in mind, but mostly because it embraces the interests of both IAML and IMS: “The Future of Music Research in the Digital Age”. ICTM, RILM’s third sponsoring body, is planning to have a session during the conference as well. RILM’s plans to mark this important anniversary at the conference include the preparation of a brief history of RILM, a session devoted to its past and future, and an all R-Projects reception on the Thursday night at the CUNY Graduate Center in midtown Manhattan, the home of RILM.

Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie