Research is Iterative because it depends on asking increasingly complex and/or new questions. This can lead you to thinking of additional questions. For example, I liked this song by the National and the chorus is great but I couldn’t figure out the lyrics, so I was singing along, “Something, cry baby cry” and felt like an idiot (even though I only sing by myself).
I googled: the national lyrics cry baby cry. The first result was the lyrics: “Vanderlyle crybaby cry.” This developed the additional question, what’s a Vanderlyle?
My next search was Vanderlyle crybaby cry and “Best Song Ever: Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” came up with an explanation. It’s just one person’s view but it satisfied me and part of iterative research is knowing when to stop! How much do you want to know? In this case the answer was: done-ski. My favorite information literate skill is that searchers are supposed to demonstrate intellectual humility (i.e., recognize their own intellectual or experiential limitations). An interesting idea for all of us music nazis!
For different views I asked two library student employees to talk about their experiences. The spectrum of this information literacy skill ranges from asking simple questions that depends on what you already know to increasingly sophisticated abilities in order to refine questions, use more advanced search methods, and explore more diverse perspectives.
Johnnay Holt, Junior, Political Science Major
My experience with refining search strategies has usually been to search for my music very specifically. For example, if I’m searching for a song that is usually fairly new it may be hard to find the original version. Many people use Spotify but it only allows you to listen to certain songs and you aren’t able to refine to the exact song you are looking for. For example, if you search for a specific song sometimes a wide range of unrelated titles appear making it difficult to retrieve the song you’re looking for. Information literate people understand that first attempts at searching do not always produce adequate results. Many times people will just wait until the song is released on iTunes to buy it. I know that I have searched for a particular song before and have found either a fan’s version of the song or a chipmunk voiceover of the song. With all that being said, it can be hard to refine your search especially if the song is a new release or if the song is by a different artist.
I searched for the video of Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé and couldn’t find the music video itself. I did find clips, highlights, or even lyrics instead of what I originally refined my search to.
The image above links to the result list and illustrates the range of options that show up even when you refine the search to what you are specifically seeking. In addition, the Minaj and Beyoncé video has to be watched on specific websites like TIDAL or Vevo, which is pain if you aren’t willing to pay to watch. You can wait until it is freely viewable on YouTube though.
There are many different apps and websites that are difficult to search and/or refine your search. For music lovers and there are many ways to get around the pain of the annoying chipmunk vocals, fan posted videos, and even voice overs if you value persistence, adaptability, and flexibility.
Josh Moore, Graduate Student in Accountancy
My best friend Jacoquine was born with musical talent. He can not only recall everything from the name, lyrics, and production year, he also has vocal talents that rival Adele’s. I unfortunately, have the vocal qualities of Michelle Williams, and I am the worst at remembering artist names, songs, lyrics, etc. If it isn’t Beyoncé, Rihanna, or Nicki Minaj, the chances are very slim that I will even know what the song is called, let alone the words to it. While I appreciate Jacoquine’s talent, it makes being his less musically talented sidekick, almost obnoxious at times. How do I keep up with my musically talented friend you might ask? I upgraded my data plan to unlimited and taught myself how to use the Internet in order to bridge the gap and up my game from Michelle up to Kelly Rowland.
Information literacy people use various research methods, based on need, circumstance, and type of inquiry, so for the musically challenged or the trendy music lover I am going to bestow what my many music knowledge quests have taught me.
- If you are looking for the newest top 100 music video releases, go to Vevo. They have all of the latest trendy music videos. You can watch everything from Beyoncé’s “7/11” to Drake’s: “behind the scenes of Where Ya At.”
- Obviously, I use YouTube. I normally put in the name of a song that I like and watch my favorite cover artist sing their rendition of it, like Todrick Hall’s “4 Rihanna.”
- Genius.com is my favorite place to go to find song lyrics. All you have to do is search a few of the words of the song, and it will typically pull up the song you are looking for.
- The Shazam app on my phone is my savior. It listens to the song that is playing, and it tells you the name of the song, album, and musician. (No more being “that friend”!)
Hope you enjoyed! If you don’t know who Adele, Beyonce, Rihanna, Todrick Hall, Nicki Minaj, Kelly Rowland, or Michelle Williams is use the websites I mentioned and educate yourself. They will change your life!