Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Spring Break Essays? Did you look quickly at JSTOR then give up?

This posting offers advice to students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, many of whom have music history essays to write during the spring break!

Everyone tells you JSTOR is great, right?  So you look, and either there's too much, or not enough.

Search Smart!

Once you've accessed JSTOR (directly on-site or using your institutional login off-campus), make sure you're only searching for items we can access - there's a button to click.

Also, by using Advanced Search, you can be more specific about what you want.  For example, rather than flinging Beethoven Quartets into the simple search box, you could specify that Beethoven must appear in the title of an article, and Quartets can appear anywhere in the full text.  Obviously if you're too specific, you can end up limiting the search too much, but it's certainly worth playing with those search boxes!

If you do all that and then can't access the article you've found, contact your library.  We're happy to look into any difficulties our students encounter. 

And here's another useful tip:- keep a note of the references you find. You can list them in your bibliography, including the hyperlinks if necessary.

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