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Syracuse University Libraries

Music Research E-mail Challenge

This guide structures and supports the music research skills e-mail challenge

Welcome to Day 1 of the Music Research Challenge

Today we will power up our research skills by keeping up-to-date on the literature in your field! One of the easiest ways is to create alerts in the databases or search engines that you use.

Let's get started!

This challenge is a twofer: first, we'll create a search alert in Google Scholar, and then we'll create a search alert in one of the library's databases (two very different approaches to staying apprised of information relevant to your discipline). Instructions for each are below.

Note: Setting up alerts in multiple places can be beneficial given that each database or search engine has access to unique content. If you plan to leave Syracuse University at some point in the future, Google Scholar alerts are free and accessible at any time and with any email address.

Search Alerts

Track new publications that are added to databases, based on your search terms.

First up, Google Scholar

1. Run a search with your keywords.

2. In your results list, on the left side of the page, click on the "Create alert" button.

Note: The Google Scholar Alerts service searches for new material that has been added to the Google Scholar database, which is not always newly published material. 

Note: You can also follow authors who have Google Scholar profiles by: clicking on their names in your results list; clicking on Follow; and choosing which aspects of their published works you want to stay abreast of, including new articles by the author, new citations to the author, new articles related to the author's work.


Next, choose one of the options below (EBSCO or ProQuest):

​EBSCO Databases through Syracuse University Libraries (e.g., Film & Television, Music Index, RILM Abstracts, RIPM - Full Text, RIPM Preservation Series: European & North American Music Periodicals, LGBTQ+ Source, TEacher Reference Center, e-Book Academic Collection, etc )

1. Click on the EBSCOHost Database Collection link.

2. Click on "Sign in" at the top of the page and create a free EBSCO account (or sign into your account if you already have one).

3. Once you are signed into your account, select the database(s) you would like to include in your search alert. (Click the Choose Databases link near the top of the page.)

4. Run a search with your keywords.

5. In the results list, click on the Share dropdown menu and then click Email Alert or RSS feed.

6. Choose your settings and click "Save Alert."

ProQuest Databases through Syracuse University Libraries (e.g., Music Periodicals Database, Humanities Index, Research Library: The Arts, The Rolling Stone Archive and many others)

1. Run a search with your keywords. 

2. On the results page, beneath the search box select Save Search/Alert.

3. Select Create Alert.

4. Set your parameters.

Note: Create a free account in ProQuest to modify, delete, or view all of your alerts. 

Note: If you do not want your search alert to include all of ProQuest's databases (that is the default), click on the Databases link in the gray bar along the top of the page and select the database(s) relevant to your discipline.


To get concert credit send a quick email to Amanda DuBose with links to your searches!

Preparing for your next challenge

Congratulations! This completes Day 1 of the Power Researcher Challenge. The next challenge will have you accessing paywalled articles on the open web!