Kelvin Smith Library
First year students may find themselves in a First Seminar or University Seminar with a topic which relates to dance. If you do not have a background in dance, or even if you do, you may feel nervous trying to find information on various aspects of dance or dancers. The materials listed below are a good start.
Oxford Reference Online is a suite of online tools. Once within the database, click on "Subject" and select Performing Arts. Look under 'Refine by Subject' to select the + sign next to 'Performing Arts', then select 'Dance'.
The easiest way to find online articles on music is via the KSL Discovery search engine. A basic procedure for this:
Go to library.case.edu and look for the Search Discovery box (midway down the page, to the right).
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 Your Search click on Full Text Online, Scholarly & Peer-Review; and under Content Type click on Journal Article (this will eliminate some of the journal articles which are book reviews).
Step 3: limit to a subject. Under Limit by Subject, click Show More … and make a selection. These are terms which show up in the indexing for an article or the full text of an article. Choose one (or two) which seems relevant to your topic.
Step 4: Close the Subject Terms box. 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. Mouse over the title of the article and you will generally get a summary of the article.
d. In the article summary, note the Subjects at the bottom of the summary. These are also clues to content.
e. 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 5: If an article look promising, click on the small 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 Summon. If you leave Summon you will lose your saved articles.
Step 6: 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, unclick your choice under Subject Terms (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 7: 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 Summon format) to yourself. By doing so you will receive a list which retains links to the full text.
The book collections at the Kelvin Smith Library and Kulas Music Collection have many items on dance, dance history, dancers and dance companies. Use the library's online catalog to find these materials. A good place to start is a subject search on dance or the name (last name, first name) of dancers or choreographers, or the name of a dance company.
The local book collections are greatly expanded by the collections at OhioLINK libraries. Execute your search in the local catalog, explore what we have, and then click on the Search OhioLINK button to see what is in the OhioLINK collections.