Qualitative Research Methods

Course #: MU606
Library instruction student survey

scholarly sources

In general, when looking for previous research in music therapy, you will be consulting and citing three formats:

journal articles

Mitchell, E. (2019). Community music therapy and participatory performance: Case study of a coffee house. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v19i1.2701


Silverman, M. J. (2015). Music therapy in mental health for illness management and recovery. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198735366.001.0001

book chapters

Ahonen, Heidi. (2016). Adult Trauma Work in Music Therapy. In: The Oxford Handbook of Music Therapy. Ed. Jane Edwards. Oxford University Press. 268-288. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199639755.013.47

what is a Library database?

A library database is an online searchable collection of information, often in the form of references to articles, books, and book chapters (but also newspaper articles, thesis, music, etc). These examples offer a glimpse of how databases are used.

database searching tips

  1. Developing a research question: for graduate students
  2. Consider word variations and synonyms
    • think about how others might refer to your ideas
    • e.g, child death, perinatal death, neonatal death, stillbirth, sudden infant death, etc.
  3. Better searching using AND, OR, NOT
    • AND (all terms) OR (one of the terms) NOT (exclude terms)
    • Parentheses and Boolean operators can be used to set apart search groups
    • e.g, NEAR/# = search terms within a specified number of words apart, e.g., music NEAR/3 therapy
  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
    • e.g, in PsycInfo, can include: age group, population group, methodology
  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
  8. What does this look like in action?

books and ebooks


predatory journals

research methodologies

Greenhalgh, T. (2019). How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine and Healthcare. (6th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

      theses and Dissertations

      music therapy journals

      It is helpful to know about the prominent music therapy journals (Edwards, 2016, p. 711) if you want to stay on top of current research in this field. While you can browse and search these journals, all of these titles are indexed in RILM where a more efficient search on a topic can be completed.

      related journals

      APA Style Guide

      The Laurier Library owns print copies of the APA Style Guide, but not the electronic version. Most information you will need to guide you for this class will be found on the APA Style guide website.

      Remember that the APA Style Guide is more than just information on how to cite, it is also prescribes rules about how to write. Since in this class you are reviewing anti-oppressive principals, consider the APA guidelines: