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Music Research: Tips for Success


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  • 1. Music Research: Tips for Success Tracey Snyder Assistant Music Librarian
  • 2. About Google Use sparingly Consult Wikipedia article for overview Look at list of bibliographical references—are they scholarly sources? If they are articles from magazines and newspapers, they may be of value, but they are not scholarly writings. A general Google search is all but useless for scholarly research, but tools like Google Books and Google Scholar have value.
  • 3. Some Types of Research Tools Subject encyclopedias (Grove, Garland, etc.)  Good starting point for getting background information Bibliographies (pub’d separately, or with encyclopedia entry)  Good starting point for choosing sources Periodical indexes/literature indexes (RILM, etc.)  Good for discovering other scholarly sources on your topic Cornell’s catalog and Cornell’s articles tab  Good for locating known items and discovering related items
  • 4. Grove Music Online Access through Library Guide or Music Library home page Major scholarly reference source for topics in music—use in place of (or in addition to) Wikipedia Search for relevant entry Scan the bibliography, looking for items that are somewhat recent, and on topic
  • 5. Cornell’s Catalog (Books) Search title of overall work cited in Grove (or other) bibliography (not title of chapter) to locate it in the Cornell Libraries (or, can link to it from within Grove) Advanced Search works well for known-item searching
  • 6. Cornell’s Articles (Articles) Search title of article cited in Grove (or other) bibliography to access the article if available in electronic form Advanced Search works well for known-item searching * If the article is only available in print form, search title of journal (not title of article) in Cornell’s catalog
  • 7. ProQuest Dissertations andTheses Access to the full text of dissertations and theses by music scholars (soon-to-be faculty) Keep in mind that each of these scholars usually publishes a book based on the dissertation several years later—search the author in the library catalog to find out if the book has been published yet  Title usually differs somewhat  Content is updated, so prefer the book over the dissertation
  • 8. RILM and Music Index Indexes to the scholarly literature in the field of music Can be searched separately or simultaneously— some overlap Why are these useful?  Article-level/chapter-level indexing  Variety of material types, including books, chapters, articles, dissertations, etc.  Detailed subject headings  Abstracts—truly helpful! Try out search terms as general keywords; can also specify to search for terms in abstract, subject heading, title, etc.
  • 9. Finding More Articles In addition to RILM and Music Index, check for articles in:  JSTOR  Project MUSE  RIPM (if appropriate)  ProQuest Historical Newspapers (if appropriate)
  • 10. Back to Cornell’s Catalog andArticles RILM and Music Index often link directly to the article if it is available in electronic form (Get It! Cornell) If not, search in Cornell’s catalog and articles tab, as before Use catalog for books Use articles tab for articles (in electronic form) Use catalog for journals (for articles in print form) Use ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (for dissertations)
  • 11. Cornell’s Catalog and ArticlesAgain Try different keyword searches to discover more sources Catalog: When you find something promising, look at the subject headings, and use them in a new search to find similar items. (Click a subject heading, or enter terms in Advanced Search by Subject.) Also look at the call number (1st part before the period).  Browse the call number range for similar books in “Classic Catalog” interface, or, browse the shelves in the library (Reference and stacks)  Ask a librarian for suggestions of call number ranges for your topic Articles: Browse subject headings etc. using the facets on the left; try out different possibilities
  • 12. About Scholarly Research Search several different places for sources Search several different ways for sources Be prepared to spend time searching for, selecting, and locating sources Start searching early; allow time for requesting materials that are already checked out or are not yet owned by Cornell Ask a librarian or your instructor for help if you are getting stuck or feeling unsure about your results
  • 13. In Summary Expect to see some of the same sources turn up in different places—that’s a good thing Embrace serendipitous discoveries Think of searching for sources as an iterative process  Find out about it  Find it  Find more like it