Focus and Scope

The study of folklore (sometimes called “folkloristics”) has strong ties to the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts, and is often interdisciplinary in its approach to the documentation, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of its subject matter. Generally, folklorists are concerned with culture communicated by informal means, including oral tradition, material culture, and customary processes. Ethnomusicology is the study of music of all types and from all cultures, exploring the role of music in human life, analyzing relationships between music and culture, and studying music cross-culturally.

The Journal of Folklore Research welcomes theoretical and comparative studies on any aspect of folklore, folklife, and ethnomusicology. Papers should be based on field observation and/or analysis of archived or published texts of known provenance. Texts should be treated in their social, cultural, ethnographic, and/or historical contexts. Papers should also engage with the scholarly literature in folklore or ethnomusicology.

In addition to regular articles, we also have the following occasional departments:
  • Encounters with Folklore: briefer accounts of folkloric or ethnomusicological traditions that have not been widely documented before. Ordinarily, encounters are ethnographically rich accounts based in fieldwork.
  • Fieldwork and Methodology Notes: for shorter pieces that engage with issues and problems in folkloristic and ethnomusicological methodology or practice.
  • Translations: articles originally published elsewhere but translated into English.

Materials in the following departments receive internal editorial review but not external peer review:

  • Dialogues: It is our hope that the journal stimulates thought, debate, and criticism among our readers, and from time to time we publish commentaries and critiques of work recently published in our pages. On these occasions we also extend to the original authors the opportunity to make rejoinders.
  • Forums: a series of papers on a topic of contemporary theoretical or professional importance, followed by invited responses by experts.

Special Issues: JFR occasionally publishes peer-reviewed special issues devoted to a single topic of interest to the field. Folklorists and ethnomusicologists interested in proposing special issues should contact the Editors with a detailed outline.

Authors are also welcome to submit thematically linked manuscripts (such as those that originated as part of a conference panel) without the mediation of a guest editor. Please note that these manuscripts should be fully developed scholarly articles­—substantially more robust than conference papers—and that they will be evaluated individually. JFR reserves the right to accept or reject individual manuscripts and cannot promise that related articles will be published together in the same journal issue.


Section Policies


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


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Encounters with Folklore

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Fieldwork and Methodology Notes

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Special Issue

Sometimes, special issues are proposed by guest editors who have already procured articles from authors on a particular theme and wish to publish them as a group. Special issues often arise out of conferences or scholarly working groups.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Book Review Essays

Book review essays offer substantive analysis of at least two but no more than five recently published books that are related in theme or method. Review essays describe the content of the books in question, but they focus on comparing and contrasting key issues and questions that are raised by the authors or are suggested by their work. Book review essays will be assessed by JFR staff rather than sent out for external review. 

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

We welcome papers that are written in clear English and are consistent with the JFR style guide. All submissions receive an internal editorial review, and those with promise are sent for double-blind expert review. We strive to complete the review process within three months of receipt, but many submissions are reviewed more quickly. Due to circumstances beyond our control, on occasion the review process might take longer than the typical three months.