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Music Therapy - Courses & Research: Websites


Websites for music therapy research should focus on science-based sites, such as those at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) or advocacy groups for conditions (such as autism advocacy groups).

Set up a meeting with Jill Westen, the librarian, if you feel that you need to use online resources but are having trouble verifying claims.

PATS - questions to ask as you evaluate

PATS is four simple words that contain multitudes. Instead of being overwhelmed and using PATS to its fullest on every source, use SIFT to identify reliable sources, then choose the items from the PATS tables that apply to your sources and help explain why a source is or isn't right for you.

PATS with Characteristics

PATS with Questions

PATS Detailed

SIFT - Action plan to start evaluating

STOP then choose ONE of the next actions (you do not do all 3!)


Choose to investigate a source when you find something you think you'll want to read and cite.

  1. Add Wikipedia to the base url or author's name and search it.
  2. Check the Wikipedia page for quick credibility markers (that's where you can apply PATS).
  3. If there is no Wikipedia page, find something similar--preferably outside the original source.


Choose to find better, more trusted coverage when you come across a claim you'd like to use but want to cite a better source.

  1. Google the key terms. Use Google News if it's a news-worthy item; use Google Scholar if would be covered in a researched study.
  2. Snopes is okay to check for fake news, but always double-check citations.
  3. If it is an image, you can easily reverse-image search if you are in Chrome.


Choose to trace claims to their origin when you need to find who said it first.

  1. Google the key terms if your first source has no mention of the origin OR Google the actual terms if the source does mention the origin OR Follow any hyperlinked sources if they exist.
  2. Once you determine you are at the original source, use PATS to decide if the source is right for you.