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FNDS 1604: Biology Is Not Destiny

Mardigian Search

Advanced Search

Keyword Mapping

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 come up with these key words by making a search web with your research question, or in this case, myth you'd like to bust in the middle. Then start attaching connected keywords and thoughts you think would be relevant to your search.
  • 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.
  • 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.

More Specific Search and ​Boolean Operators

  • For your myth busting assignment think of a myth you're interested in finding out more about/disproving. Here is an example from your assignment: "Women are much more emotional than men, making them poor leaders and decision makers"
  • Good search terms for this could be: Women/female, male/men, gender, emotion, decisions, leadership, stereotype, sexism, etc.
    • Bonus Tip: If you type in emot* into a search engine it'll actually show results for emotion, emotions, and emotional. The asterisk (*) at the end is a bit of a wildcard in searching. It tells the search engine that you want results for any word that starts with emot-. Another example of this could be for decis*. This will give results for decision, decisions, and decisive. It's a great way to very quickly be able to search multiple variations of a word.
  • A good starting search could be [leadership gender difference]. This will provide a search for leadership or gender or difference. To narrow this down we'll use some boolean operators. Searching instead for [leadership and "gender difference"] will show results for leadership and the phrase gender difference. This may bring up more relevant results.
  • If I wanted just results for leadership and nothing about gender to get a sense of how people measure leadership without gender I could search for [leadership not gender]. This will only bring up results for leadership and exclude articles/books/etc with the tag/keyword of gender.
  • As you're going through this initial search process you'll likely change your search terms many times using synonyms to find similar results and also refining your keywords as you learn more about the myth you'd like to bust and the sub-myths that pertain to it.

Select Content Type

  • Choose what format you'd prefer on the left hand side under Content Type
    • 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: anthropology, biology, history & archaeology, psychology, social sciences, sociology & social history, women's studies, ...
    • Example of Subjects: adult, behavior, culture, decision making, employees, employment, evaluation, female, feminism, gender, gender differences, gender equality, gender studies, job satisfaction, leadership, male, management, men, personality, ...
  • Select peer-review to only view peer-reviewed results.
  • 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. For the example above, "Women are much more emotional than men, making them poor leaders and decision makers", you may find in your research that women are perceived as being more emotional and then bust some sub-myths by looking at why this is. This could lead you down a path of looking at how leaders are evaluated and what Americans in particular look for in leaders.
  • Play around with it as you go and contact your professor or the Foundations librarian, Sophia McFadden-Keesling (semcfadd@umich.edu) if you get stuck or confused.
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