This outlines a simple but effective approach to finding information for your assignment, based on the resources described in the Music Subject Guide. Depending on your topic and your level of study, you may need to rearrange or review these steps
Chaining is a well-established and widely used method of gathering additional sources for a topic: Find one important scholarly work on your topic (sometimes called the “seed document”), and follow up the references that it cites in its footnotes, bibliography or list of references. Those cited works will cite other works in turn, which you can also seek out, and so the chain of citations continues
For the method to work well, it is important to choose the “seed document” carefully. Ideally the “seed” will be a definitive and recent work on the topic, such as a seminal book or a review article. For undergraduate assignments, such a “seed” will often be listed in the Reading List prepared by your lecturer for the course
The method has one obvious disadvantage: it can only take you backwards to older publications on the topic. It cannot help you discover any new literature and latest research. This drawback is overcome using Cited Reference Searching
Citation indexes allow you to look forward in time, and find works citing a particular scholarly work (the “seed document”) that were published after the “seed document’s” publication date
The underlying method is similar to that of “Citation Chaining”: if there is a scholarly work that is prominent in your area of research, it may be useful to identify later works that cite that work
Simple, one-step searching across a range of the Library’s resources, including the Library Catalogue, most library databases, and some digital collections
MultiSearch (via Summon) – further explanation of this finding tool
The Library Catalogue lists books held in the Library's collection
Hints for searching the Library catalogue
The Library Catalogue lists the print and electronic titles of journals held by the Library. Select the Journal title begins with search option and enter the full journal title
To find articles on your specific topic, you will need to search these recommended databases
The Internet can be a rich source of information but not everything will be useful or appropriate for research use
Internet Detective: "Wise up to the Web" – develop the critical thinking required for Internet research.
References recommended on reading lists will already have been evaluated for quality. You will need to evaluate sources that you find yourself. Think critically about the information you find. The quality of your information will help to determine the quality of your assignment.
See also the Library's online tutorial: