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Music - Guide to Research

The purpose of this guide is to organize the most relevant USD Library resources for students, staff and faculty within the discipline of Music.

Time-tested tips

Research tips:

  • Keep track of your searches.
    • What was searched, what kind of search (e.g., keyword, subject heading, author), what database was searched.
    • Making a printout of the first page of the result set is often an easy way to do it.
  • Keep track of your result sets as well.
    • For example, how many “hits” you got on a specific search in a specific database.
  • Date your information.
    • Databases are updated frequently and your counts (and information) will be out of date quickly.
  • Think creatively. Think of different terms to broaden, narrow or limit a search.
    • You may notice words used in citations that may help focus or expand your search.  Don’t forget to use dictionaries and encyclopedias to help you find more terms.
  • Be smart!
    • When subject headings, thesaurus terms, etc. are used to categorize a citation, use that subject heading to find other articles, books, etc. on the same topic.

  • Once you have a citation for an article or a book, whether you found it in a database or a bibliography or cited in an article, what do you do next?
    • If you have an article citation, be sure to check the Journals List on the library home page to see if the full-text article is available online.
    • Look in the Library Catalog to see if USD owns the item.
      • If the item is not owned by USD, then you need to broaden your net.
      • Search “All Locations” in the Library Catalog to see if the item is owned by another South Dakota library. If so, and the item is a book or a score, you can use the request feature to request the item from that campus.
      • You can also broaden your book or score search to the WorldCat, and request items held at institutions world-wide.
    • If the item is not in the Library Catalog or is a periodical article not held at USD, you need to request the item through Interlibrary Loan. You can fill out the form online.

Feel free to ask your friendly music librarian for assistance!

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