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FNDS 3903: Rules of the Game

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. Ancient art exists in a network of entities and contexts. Think about who commissioned the artwork, who created it (if known), and the historical, political, religious, and other contexts in the time of origin AND in later interpretation.
  • 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 research question is the topic for Short Paper 8: "Explain how Cuba could copy what China is doing economically, and if it should", you need to break this up into keywords rather than just typing that whole question into a search engine. For Who and Where, you could use Cuba and China. For What, you could use economy or economic growth or economic development or reform. For When, you could use 21st Century. For Why, you could use prosper. For How, you could use innovation.

More Specific Search and ​Boolean Operators

  • You may want to start your research by understanding how the Cuban economy functions right now. For this you may want to use the keywords Cuba and Economy. To search for both terms together you will need to add a capitalized AND between them. So the search would be [Cuba AND Economy].
  • To be even more inclusive with your search you can use the wildcard *. Instead of searching [Cuba AND Economy] you can search for [Cuba AND Econom*]. Adding the * at the end of a word will tell the search algorithm to look for all potential endings for that word. So now you're searching for economy, economic, economics, economist, economists, etc.
  • You can then do a similar search for China instead of Cuba. Continue to change your keywords as you narrow down your search.

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: agriculture, business, economics, geography, journalism & communications, political science, statistics, ...
    • Example of Subjects: business & economics, capitalism, communism, cuba, democracy, economic aspects, economic conditions, economic development, economic growth, economic indicators, economic policy, economic reform, elections, embargoes & blockades, employment, exports, globalization, government, gross domestic product, ...
  • 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 ( if you get stuck or confused.

Scholarly/Peer Reviewed

Your professors may ask you to find scholarly, academic, or peer-reviewed articles. These are articles that have gone through a rigorous review process by the journal they are eventually published in and peers in their field.

Video created by NC State University Libraries

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