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FNDS 3201: Weeds and Wastelands

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 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
  • For example, your research question could be "How does the environment play a role in the work-life of a dentist and vice versa?"
    • This research question is very wordy so you'd want to pick out specific works like environment and dentist to start your research

More Specific Search and ​Boolean Operators

  • Searching for just [dentist] will only result with articles that mention the word dentist. If I want to broaden this search to include dentists and dentistry I could change my search to [dentist*]. That * (asterisk) is a wildcard that is going to autocomplete any word that starts with dentist
  • In order to make sure I'm just seeing results for the environment and dentists I need to use the Boolean operator AND. My new search would be [environment AND dentist*]. Now I will have results for both the environment and dentist.
  • If I wanted just the environment to appear in my search and not dentists I would search for [environment NOT dentist*]. The NOT indicates that I do not want any version of the word dentist to appear in my results
  • If I wanted either results for the environment or dentists I would use the following search [environment OR dentist*]

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: agriculture, applied sciences, biology, dentistry, ecology, environmental sciences, medicine, public health, ...
    • Example of Subjects: bacteria, biocompatibility, biological and medical sciences, biological products, biomedical engineering, biomedical materials, dental care, dental caries, dental implants, dentistry, dentistry oral history & medicine, dentists, environmental health, health aspects, ...
  • Select Peer-Review to only view peer-reviewed results.
  • Select the Publication Date to select the time period you're interested in seeing resources from

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.

What Is Peer-Review?

The video below outlines what Peer-Review means.

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