Skip to Main Content


Music Library Resources at Case

Get Online Help

Reminder: Online Access

  • Library resources require going through CWRU Single Sign-On.
  • The best method is to follow links from the library website.
  • When logged in and a browser window is not closed, access should continue from resource to resource.
  • Remember to close your browser when done.

Interdisciplinary Research


Interdisciplinary research, whether research which seeks to draw connections between music and literature, or attempts to inform research in music education by using the literatures of psychology and neuroscience, is best addressed by using the KSL Discovery Search Engine. Discovery is a metasearch engine which searches all resources -- print and online -- which KSL makes available to you. These include all catalog records in our online catalog and the OhioLINK catalog, the full text of all our online journals, all the indexing and abstracting in our research databases, and all our full text databases. It uses a relevancy algorithm to sort search results and this algorithm is most likely to deliver relevant results if it works with small sets of results, as well as working within specific facets of your research. Below is a sample search strategy which tries to maximize the retrieval of highly relevant results in Discovery searches.

Using Discovery to find online journal articles:

The easiest way to find online articles on music is via the KSL Discovery Search engine. A basic procedure for this:

Go to and locate the Discovery search box on the right hand side.

Overall strategy: execute searches which generate a large number of citations and then use various filters to reduce the results to a manageable set.

Step 1: Format your search after giving careful thought to the terms which most accurately represent your topic on a broad level. The best searches are small strings of nouns. Terms are connected by logical operators: AND, OR, NOT, but the AND operator is understood and doesn’t need to be explicitly included. Generally avoid terms such as: relationship, effect, or impact which relate search terms to each other. You may use a single asterisk to stand in for multiple characters: wom*n = woman or women, music* = music or musician or musical. Phrases should be put in quotes: “united states”.

Step 2: Apply as many mechanical limits as possible. For online journal articles, apply the following limits from the left hand sidebar: under Refine Results section, under Limit To click on Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals; and under Limit By Source Type click on Academic Journals. Explore other limiters, such as Limit by Subject, as needed.

Step 3: Browse the results to find relevant articles. There are a number of ways to browse quickly and effectively:

a. Note the article title.

b. Note the name of the journal. This may help you understand the author’s perspective on a subject.

c. In the article summary, note the Subjects at the bottom of the summary. These are also clues to content.

d. Access the full text and download to your computer. Use the Find command to see if certain terms related to your topic are present and where they appear in the article.

Step 6: If an article looks promising, click the "Add to Folder" icon to the right of the article’s title. This will place the article in a save folder for as long as you stay in Discovery. If you leave Discovery you will lose your saved articles.

Step 7: The key to this search strategy is step 7, which is a reiteration of steps 3-6: Once you have browsed articles under one subject heading, go back, uncheck your choice under Limit by Subject (and sometimes even Discipline) and choose another to work with. Repeat the process of browsing and saving. Do this as long as you like, choosing different subject terms, different disciplines, even modifying your original search. Browse and save from these sets of articles.

Step 8: When you feel you have enough articles, click on your saved articles folder in the upper right-hand corner. Note that you can reformat the list in various citation formats such as MLA or Chicago/Turabian. Be sure to email the list (in its original or Discovery format) to yourself. By doing so you will receive a list which retains links to the full text.

Using EBSCO databases for Interdisciplinary Research:

Many of the database for which we provide access are provided by the vendor EBSCO and a common interface to those databases allows one to search across multiple disciplines at once. This can provide very focused searching across the literature of several disciplines, such as music and literature, or music education and psychology. The procedure below describes how to do so:

Using EBSCO databases to search across disciplines:

Go to and in the upper right hand corner, click on Databases. Select the database RILM, which indexes the literature of music.

Step 1. Click on "Choose Databases" which is immediately above the search box.

Step 2. From the popup list check "MLA International Bibliography" which indexes the literature of modern langauges and literature.

Step 3. Click OK and you will be returned to the search boxes. To check which databases you are searching at anytime, click on "Show All" above the databases.

Step 4. Your searching will now look in both databases. Once you get a results list, the bottom of the left-hand sidebar will list the number of results from each of the databases.

Note that this is also an efficient way to search databases of the same discipline simultaneously. The two primary indexes of the literature of music -- RILM and Music Index -- can be searched this way.

CWRU Libraries Discovery