The best (non-academic) periodical text-search engine?
February 10, 2013 10:52 AM   Subscribe

Dunno if it exists - I'm looking for a searchable periodical database that will let me scour say, all magazines put out by X publisher, for a particular phrase. I see Google Scholar, but not something that lets me search typical magazines (Like Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Wired, etc). Does it exist? If so, point the way! (I realize I could try going to sites of each individual magazine and seeing if they will let me search all their online back issues). Thanks mefiters. : )
posted by bitterkitten to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You mean free, right? And are you associated with a university?

I ask because there are a number of databases that serve this function, but magazines license rights to commercial providers who combine them and provide the service . . . for a fee.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 10:59 AM on February 10, 2013

Ah. I do work at a related branch of a university, currently, so I could ask them (duh), but yeah, I was wondering if there was a publicly accessible tool.
posted by bitterkitten at 11:31 AM on February 10, 2013

Reader's Guide to Periodic Literature. Your library probably subscribes to the database. I don't know if they still publish bound volumes.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:27 PM on February 10, 2013

Is there a public library you can get a library card from? Many public libraries have general magazine databases that are searchable. The two big ones are Ebsco MasterFILE and Gale General OneFile.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:47 PM on February 10, 2013

You could try HighBeam Research, which claims to index over 4000 journals & over 700 newspapers. Wired and Rolling Stone not included, however :-(

Note, too, that searching all magazines put out by a particular publisher will take some extra work and access to a real database, along the lines of the previously mentioned EBSCO & Gale indexes.

Best bet is to hie thee to your nearest reference librarian ...
posted by woodman at 3:49 PM on February 10, 2013

I don't believe there is truly a free periodical search engine (outside of a carefully crafted Google search), no. All four of the magazines you mentioned are indexed in some flavor of EBSCO; other major magazines/newspapers will be in ProQuest or Gale.

Details about access at your specific institution may vary. IAARL (reference librarian) but IANYRL (not your reference librarian).
posted by librarylis at 7:08 PM on February 10, 2013

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