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Music Therapy - Courses & Research

Keyword search tips

Keyword Search and Article Type Tips

Music therapy research usually requires some advanced search skills. These tips will give you power to change your searches for the better.

1. Quotes around "music therapy"

  • music therapy search term with quotes around the phrase
    • The quotes glue the words together so that music and therapy aren't found separately.

2. Be flexible

  • search using music therapy and autistic and preschool
    • I tried this search and didn't get very many results
  • Search using music therapy and autism and children
    • I changed it and my results improved.

3. Search for synonyms using parentheses and OR in all-caps

  • search terms using parentheses around the synonyms and OR between the synonyms
    • (elderly OR "older people" OR "older adults" OR geriatric)
  • Search putting parentheses around synonyms and OR between the synonyms
    • ("visually impaired" OR "visual impairment" OR blindness)
  • Be sure to understand the difference between OR and AND between words:
    • OR tells the search engine that any of those words are fine for your results = more results.
    • AND tells the search engine that you simply must have all the words you listed or you won't be pleased = fewer results.

4. Identify Experimental Research Articles vs Other Types

  • Experimental research articles
    • Experimental research article title example
      • Describes an actual experiment (quantitative or qualitative) performed by the author(s).
      • Usually uses sections titled introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion.
  • Systematic literature review articles
    • Systematic review article title example
      • Describes how the author read and compared studies someone else performed.
      • Almost always says "literature review," "systematic review," "meta-synthesis," or "meta-analysis" in the title.
      • Does not include the same sections as experimental research articles.
  • Case studies
    • Case study article title example
      • Describes one specific case of music therapy interaction.
      • Almost always says "case study" in the title.
      • May have some similar sections to experimental research articles, but since it likely says "case study," there shouldn't be confusion.

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