Music & Meaning in Community

Course #: MU620

What is a library database?

Navigating Library Databases

With the variety of tools to find information, the challenge is to use the appropriate tool(s) and methods to ensure your search for literature is both methodical and complete. Here are some steps to fine-tune your searches.

  1. Formulate specific research questions
    • identify the key elements of your questions
  2. Consider word variations and synonyms
    • widen the scope of your results; think about how others might refer to your ideas
    • e.g, community = neighbourhood, public, school, society
  3. Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)
    • AND = results will contain all the terms
    • OR = results will contain at least one of the terms
    • NOT = results will exclude the term
    • Parentheses and Boolean operators can be used to set apart search groups
  4. Limit or expand terms
    • "quotation marks" = exact
    • truncat* = truncate, truncates, truncated, truncation, etc.
  5. Employ search limiters (available limiters depend on the database)
    • peer reviewed, article type, date
    • in RILM, this can include
      • language, and major topics
  6. Identify key publications and authors
    • note citations, and cited references, repeated author names
  7. Document and track everything you do in the steps above

Choosing a Library Database

Books

If you cannot find the item in Primo

  • Use WorldCat to identify books available in other libraries. Use RACER to have books sent to Laurier
  • Search within ebook collections to search within the full text of available books (as opposed to searching just the title in Primo)

Managing Citations