The Journal of Folklore Research, a publication of the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University, was established in 1964 by Richard M. Dorson. Until 1983, it was known as the Journal of the Folklore Institute. The name change signaled an expansion in scope, and today JFR's editorial board includes scholars from around the world.

The Journal publishes peer-reviewed articles of interest to folklore and ethnomusicology as international disciplines. Its pages include incisive examinations of vernacular or traditional expressive forms, as well as essays that address the fieldwork experience and the intellectual history of folklore and ethnomusicology studies. Since July 2002, JFR has been published and distributed by Indiana University Press.

JFR's predecessors were Hoosier Folklore Bulletin (1942-1945), Hoosier Folklore (1946-1950), and Midwest Folklore (1951-1963). These publications, as well as the subsequent Journal of the Folklore Institute, are available online via JSTOR.

The Journal of Folklore Research is indexed in the Social Sciences and Humanities Index, the MLA Bibliography, Anthropological Index Online, the American Humanities Index, the Music Index, and the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences. It is also abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life. In addition, JFR augments major research and teaching libraries in the former Soviet bloc as part of the East and Central Europe Journal Donation Project, sponsored by the New School for Social Research.