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MUS 4790: Influence of Music on Behavior

A guide to the information resources that support the research-based assignments of Influence of Music on Behavior.

Tools for Evaluating Journals

To determine whether a journal is peer-reviewed, consult Ulrichsweb (Global Serials Directory).  To determine impact factors, consult Journal Citation Reports -- journals relevant to music therapy are likely to be in the Social Sciences Edition, and impact factors are listed by year.  Acceptance percentages are not as easily determined on a global scale, but this information can sometimes be obtained on the journal website or from the journal's editor.

Identifying Empirical Research

Finding empirical research articles is a critical skill for students in behavioral disciplines. The best way to identify whether or not an article is an empirical research study is to examine the source directly and confirm that it has the key elements of such a study. A typical empirical study will have the following five sections, with the terminology sometimes varying. Sometimes introduction and literature review will be merged; sometimes either section might not be labeled. Sometimes a separate conclusions section may be added. 

Absolutely necessary are the three core sections: methods, results, discussion. Some of the typical variants are listed below. If these three components are not found in the article, it is NOT an empirical study.

Typical Headings:

  1. Introduction/Literature Review
  2. Methodology / Methods / Research Design
  3. Data / Results
  4. Discussion / Interpretation / Analysis
  5. References


  1. Choose "Scholarly" or "Peer-Reviewed" when searching a database
  2. Add the word "research" or "study" to your search topic

Adapted from "ECC 543 -- Single Subject Research Design" at Shippensburg University, by Kirk Moll. Used with permission.