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.
- 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 this course you'll be researching the life of women throughout history. Good search terms for this course could be: Women/female, male/men, gender, everyday living, life, 19th century, medieval, suffrage, sexuality, oppression, ...
- If you want to know what life was like in the 19th century for women, a good starting search could be [women life 19th century]. This will provide a search for women or life or 19th or century. To narrow this down we'll use some boolean operators. Searching instead for ["women's life" and "19th century"] will show results for the phrase "women's life" and the phrase 1"9th century". This may bring up more relevant results.
- 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 what it is you're really interested in researching. When searching with numbers, a lot of databases like Mardigian Search search for both 19th and nineteenth as they appear in the tags. But some databases are not as sophisticated, so you may have to try a couple different types of the search with 19th and nineteenth.
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: history & archaeology, journalism and communication, languages and literatures, psychology, sociology & social history, women's studies, ...
- Example of Subjects: 1800-1899, 19th century, african american studies, american history, bibliography, female, feminism, gender, gender identity, women's rights, women's studies, ...
- 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.
- Play around with it as you go and contact your professor or the library (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you get stuck or confused.