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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

Music 603: Graduate Music Education Project

Searching EBSCOhost Databases (RILM, Education Research Complete, ERIC)

Below is an example search using the database RILM. I have screen shots of the search process. If you'd like to see videos of searching a database, go to:

NOTE: These videos aren't tailored to EWU, so finding the full text if the article isn't there is not shown. If you need help on that part, scroll down.

Type in Your Search Terms

  • Turn your topic into keywords, break them down to one word or a simple phrase. Do not type in a string of words or an entire sentence.
  • Put one concept per box, with an OR in between synonyms in the same box -- many times the database will offer suggestions
  • Use a * to stem or truncate, in this example, to find any word beginning with teach - teach, teaching, teacher, etc.
  • Put simple phrases "in quotes". NOTE: The database won't do this for you if you choose the drop-down suggestion.

screenshot of the search boxes of the database RILM

Narrowing Results

We got over 4000 results -- I would suggest trying to narrow down to 30-60 results, or at least down to less tscreenshot of the limiters on the left side in the database RILMhan 100 results. How? By using the limiters supplied. The database wants to help us narrow down. Note the various limiters on the left side:

  • Academic Journals -- I want to limit to articles from magazines and scholarly journals
  • by Date -- let's try the last 10 years.
  • by Language -- RILM is an international database with lots of articles in other languages that you may not be able to read
  • by Subject - this is the most powerful limiter to narrow your results by the subject tags the creators used

Narrowing by Subject

  • The best way of narrowing by subject is to click on the down arrow by Subject, then click the Show More to view all of them.
  • Just like we typed in one concept per box, look for various terminology for each concept separately, click on all the ones that are relevant, then click Update. Then go back and look for terminology for another concept. By checking more than one, you're doing an OR search.
  • If I scroll through the subjects for the concept music education, I see music education, band, ensemble playing, etc.
  • Keep doing this until you have narrowed to around 20-40 results. Or at a minimum, get it down to less than 100.

screenshot of the subject limiter in RILM

Reviewing Your Results

Click on the title of the article to read the abstract. In RILM, you won't be able to see how many pages the article is without looking at the full text of the article. (It only lists the first page number.)

Finding the Full Text

Sometimes the full article is available right there. Look for a PDF link.

If it's not full text right there, look for the Check for Full Text button.

Clicking the Check for Full Text button in the databases brings up a screen like the one below...

screenshot of the results of using the check for fulltext button

If the article is available online, it will say Online Access. Scroll down to the View It section to see links to databases (in the example, it's full text in 3 different databases).

If the article is not available full text, it will say Check Availability. Scroll down to the Get It section to see if we have it in print or microfilm -- if we do, there will be a call number and note the years. This is more likely to be applicable for older articles from the 1990s or earlier. (Unless you live close to campus, we will scan copies of articles in our physical holdings. Just use the Interlibrary Loan request and put in the comments section that we have it, but you are an online student.)

If we do not have it online, then you may request it via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Use the link from the View Online or Get It section.