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FNDS 1303: Art/France - Art/Japan

Mardigian Search

Advanced Search

How to Start Your Search

Mardigian Search is a tool used to search through a variety of our library material: books, journal articles, ebooks, etc. It will search the library catalog, plus most of the library's databases and online resources in a single search.

Because Mardigian Search can search through so much though, it can give you millions of results with a single search--this can make it hard to narrow down and refine your search. It's a good place to start if you are doing a preliminary search to get a general idea of what is available on a topic. Use keywords (important themes and words you're interested in researching) to get you started.

These tips are specific for our general Mardigian Search, however, you can apply these same keyword search strategies to anywhere you do research. In the Mardigian Search box above, type in keywords to get you started.

Keyword Searches

  • Keywords are the important themes and words you're interested in researching. You can use the index of a book to find terms that would be good keywords for searches.
  • Try getting inspiration from tags on your initial search results. These are words or phrases that the author/publisher/editor have determined to be major themes or concepts in the piece. Search algorithms match your initial keyword searches with these tags.
  • Don't use filler words like effect, impact, role, or connection as these will muck up the search.
  • When studying art you need to think interdisciplinarily. Think about who commissioned the artwork, who created it, and the historical, political, religious, and other contexts in the time of origin.
  • Think of Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How when picking your keywords
  • You may have to look for synonyms or variations to your original keyword search.
  • For example, if you're doing research question is "How does photography compare in art in Japan and France in the 19th century?", your keywords to start with are Photography, Art, Japan, France, and 19th Century rather than typing in your whole research question.
    • For narrowing this search down, you may want to remove "Art" as a search term as photography is a type of art already and separate it into two searches: [Photography AND Japan AND "19th Century"] and [Photography AND France AND "19th Century"]

Select Content Type

  • Choose what format you'd prefer
    • Examples: Book/eBook, Journal Article, Magazine Article, Streaming Video, Web Resources, ...
  • If you don't have a preference you can always leave all of the results in and continue to narrow down by the suggestions below

​​Filter Your Search Results

  • In Mardigian Search, use Refine Your Search on the left hand side
  • Select Disciplines and Subjects that interest you
    • Example of Disciplines: history and archaeology, international relations, visual arts, ...
    • Example of Subjects: history, photography, art history, nonfiction, art galleries & museums, ...
  • Select the publication date you find most useful by moving the yellow slide scale

Refine Your Search

  • Continue to narrow down your results by changing the Discipline and Subjects selected.
  • Change your keyword search as you go. You will find as you do your research that your initial research question may change and become more specific to narrow down your focus. Other keywords that may help in your research are 
    westernization, orientalism, appropriation, and borrowing.
  • Play around with it as you go and contact your professor or the library at

Scholarly/Peer Reviewed

Throughout your time in college you’ll be asked to write papers where you will need to cite peer reviewed articles. Your professors may ask you to find scholarly, academic, or peer-reviewed articles. These are all synonyms for the peer-review process. This is the process of evaluating scientific, academic, or professional work by others working in the same field with similar credentials. For example, if a psychologist tries to get a paper published in the field of psychology, when they submit to a journal for publication they’re going to put that paper through that peer reviewed process and have others in the field of psychology read through their work for accuracy. When an item is peer reviewed it means it has gone through this rigorous review process of essentially being fact checked by others in the field to make sure that the paper doesn’t have falsified or misleading information.

This peer reviewed process does a lot of the work of checking for accuracy for you and is often viewed as the gold star of information. Watch the video below for more information.

Video created by NC State University Libraries

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