Beethoven’s lost penny

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Every last penny seems important at Christmas time so we thought we’d make Beethoven’s lost penny the topic of our first Advent Window E-resource.

Choosing an appropriate e-resource was fairly straight forward: Oxford Music Online (OMO) is a gateway for information from a range of sources. Here at DC our online subscription includes Grove Music Online, The Oxford Dictionary of Music and The Oxford Companion to Music.

The OMO homepage offers browse options as well as a search box, which is where we started using the search term: ‘Beethoven’s lost penny’.

OMO returns 6 hits for our search term to Google’s 1,4000,000 so for getting started with our research into Beethoven’s lost penny OMO offers an efficient route to reliable information because OMO draws on the work of experts. A simple Google search leaves us having to critically assess each link we choose, so the time we could spend reading about our topic is eaten up in deciding whether or not to trust the information in the first place. Remember, too, that when you are compiling your bibliography you want to demonstrate that you chose your sources intelligently and you also want your teachers to be able to retrieve the same information you did so that your arguments can be seen to stand up under scrutiny.

Okay, so back to our 6 OMO results. Straightaway we can see that they are categorised into biography and subject entries and the source of each result is shown along with an abstract where available.

We can e-mail our search results using a short form – again a valuable bibliographical tool that we should make use of – or we can print the results so that we have a record of the search terms and the sources of information we’ve used.

The results page offers a menu of further search refiners and once we’ve clicked on a result we are taken directly to the part of the page where words from our search term appear. Scrolling down, we can also see the bibliography for the articles and the author name. Back at the top of the article page, we again have options to print and e-mail the information plus there’s a ‘cite’ tool which means we can export the bibliographic data we need to avoid plagiarism and present a comprehensive bibliography with our work.

All we need to do now is read the articles and learn about Beethoven’s lost penny!

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