Music Research: Tips for Success Tracey Snyder Assistant Music Librarian firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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)
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)
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
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
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