Focus and Scope

Empirical Musicology Review (EMR) aims to provide an international forum promoting the understanding of music in all of its facets. In particular, EMR aims to facilitate communication and debate between scholars engaged in systematic and observation-based music scholarship. Debate is promoted through publication of commentaries on research articles.


EMR publishes original research articles, commentaries, editorials, book reviews, interviews, letters, and data sets. Suitable topics include music history, performance, theory, education, and composition -- with an emphasis on systematic methods, such as hypothesis-testing, modeling, and controlled observation. Submissions pertaining to social, political, cultural and economic phenomena are welcome. Theoretical and speculative articles are welcome provided they contribute to the forming of empirically testable hypotheses, models or theories, or they provide critiques of methodology. 


EMR was founded by David Huron and David Butler in 2004 and began publishing in January 2006. The editorial process for EMR pioneers a new "Public Peer Review" practice that is intended to encourage scholarly dialog and reward reviewers for timely and thoughtful engagement with submissions. Previous editors include David Butler, William Forde Thompson, Peter Keller, Nicola Dibben and Renee Timmers. The current editors are Daniel Shanahan and Daniel Müllensiefen.

Peer Review Process

EMR follows a Public Peer Review practice whose goal is to publish writings within a context of scholarly discussion and debate rather than as isolated contributions. Commentaries on submitted articles are published in tandem with each article, rather than treated as private correspondence between authors and reviewers. The goal is to increase the educational value by allowing readers to witness a scholarly conversation.

Publication Frequency

Beginning with Vol. 16 (2021) Empirical Musicology Review will be published twice a year.

Open Access Policy

Journals published by The Ohio State University Libraries’ Publishing Program provide immediate open access to their content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

In order to lower barriers to publication for authors, our journals do not charge submission or any other form of author fees.

(updated March 23, 2016)

Conflict of Interest

For EMR reviewers and editors, we consider the following situations conflicts of interest (COI) with respect to the authors of an article submitted to the journal:

  • Having co-authored a paper (or conference presentation) published (or given) within the last 3 years
  • Having been in a formal supervisor-supervisee relationship within the last 10 years
  • Currently having an active joint research project which involves close personal collaboration
  • Being employed at the same institution
  • Having a close personal relationship (e.g., family, close friends) 
  • Obtaining direct or indirect financial benefits or other rewards from a submission being published.

These conflict of interest situations should generally be avoided.

This conflict of interest policy generally applies only to reviewers and journal editors. For authors of open peer commentaries who have not been part of the review process that led to the acceptance of a paper, there are  no formal restrictions. However, authors of an open commentary are welcome (and maybe sometimes requested) to declare their relationship with the authors of the target paper in the acknowledgments section.

(updated December 7, 2023)

Plagiarism Policy

Journals published by The Ohio State University Libraries’ Publishing Program do not accept manuscripts with plagiarized material. For the purposes of this policy, plagiarism is defined as the use of previously authored works - including text, data, and images – of others or self without proper attribution.

Journal editors will respond to plagiarism at their discretion. Actions taken will be based on the severity of the plagiarism attempt, but can include corrections to or retractions of the published article, the author being banned from publishing in the journal, and/or the editor notification of the author’s institution or funding agencies.

(updated March 23, 2016)

Retraction Policy

When errors are discovered in published content, our policy is to follow the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The following language is a brief summary of relevant portions of the guidelines for the benefit of our editors, authors, and readers. The full guidelines should be consulted if questions arise or action is being considered. 

If the editor becomes aware of major errors in, or misconduct related to published work, the editor may issue a retraction, statement of concern, or correction. These actions are meant to maintain the scholarly record and are not meant to be a form of punishment. An author who determines that his or her published article may contain errors should contact the editor promptly so that the journal can determine a path forward. Readers are also invited to contact the editor with concerns about published content.


A retraction is defined as a public disavowal, not an erasure or removal. Retractions will occur if the editors and editorial board find that the main conclusion of the work is undermined or if subsequent information about the work comes to light of which the authors or the editors were not aware at the time of publication.

Statement of Concern

A statement of concern will be issued if there is inconclusive evidence of research misconduct / ethical wrongdoing or there is an ongoing investigation and results are pending.


A correction will be published if the scholarly record is seriously affected (e.g., if accuracy/intended meaning, scientific reproducibility, author reputation, or journal reputation is judged to be compromised). Corrections such as misspellings or grammatical errors will not be published. Published corrections will be added to the original article whenever possible. When that is not possible, the correction will link to and from the original work.


Removal of published content may occur if an article is determined to be defamatory by a court of law, if it infringes on legal rights, or if there is a reasonable expectation that it will be subject to a court order for any reason. The bibliographic information about the work will be retained online, but the work will no longer be available through the journal. A note will be added to indicate that the item was removed for legal reasons.

(updated October 27, 2016)

Preservation Policy

This journal participates in the Public Knowledge Project’s Private LOCKSS Network to preserve its contents. https://pkp.sfu.ca/pkp-lockss/

(updated March 30, 2016)

Copyright Policy

Authors retain all rights to work published by The Ohio State University Libraries' Publishing Program. Authors are free to reuse their work and to enter into other agreements as long as they credit the relevant journal as the site of first publication and provide a link to the journal website. 

Beginning with Volume 7, No 3-4 (2012), Empirical Musicology Review is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

(updated March 30, 2016)