Check out the library's self-paced tutorial, How do I search library databases?, to learn the basics of database searches.
1. What is Mardigian Search and why should I use it?
- Mardigian Search is the library's Discovery search box, which looks through all of the library's databases at once.
- Mardigian Search is great for:
- finding out what's been studied in your research area
- finding sources about interdisciplinary topics
2. How do I search for my topic?
- Identify the main ideas of your topic and use those as your search words
- Each article has tags assigned to it, words or shorts phrases that make them searchable - you want your search words to match those tags
- Words like factors, effects, issues, relationships, links are usually not used as tags - don't include them as search words
- Example: The question for your research paper is: What factors determine whether or not children experience catch up growth?
- To search for this topic: catch up growth child*
- child* will search for child and children
- "catch up growth" will search for catch up growth as a phrase, not separate words
3. I'm looking for a specific article or book. How do I find out if the library has it?
- Enter the title into the search box, removing all punctuation
4. How do I focus my search results to peer-reviewed articles that are relevant to this course?
- Use the options under Refine Your Search to focus your search results
- Use the options in the Refine Your Search sidebar to focus your search hits to peer-reviewed articles
- Check Peer Reviewed
- Check Journal Article under the Content Type heading
- Check Anthropology (and any other relevant disciplines) under the Discipline heading
5. I have too many irrelevant search hits. How do I focus them?
- Click on Quick Look when you find an article that looks interesting
- Look at its assigned Subjects (tags)
- Add any relevant subjects to your search
- This will also help you develop your research topics and search for books and articles about them
6. How do I know my search words match the tags assigned to articles about my research question?
- As you scroll through the search hits, click on Quick Look and look at the Subjects (tags) assigned to the relevant articles you find
- See if they match your search words - if they don't change your search words accordingly
- Subjects (tags) also help you identify the specific populations or issues in your research area
7. How do I preview the abstract/summary of articles in the list of search hits?
- Click on Quick Look below the article title to look at the abstract of the article
8. How do I access the article so I can read the whole thing?
- Click on Full Text Online
- Look for pdf Full Text or HTML Full Text links
9. I can't find anything on my topic. What do I do?
- The search words you're using to describe your topic may not match the tags that have been assigned to sources about that topic. Try different search words that mean the same thing.
- There may not be research tying your main ideas together yet. Try searching for your main ideas separately and linking their findings together.
- If you've found one article that's relevant for your topic, look through the sources in its References list to see if any of them are also relevant to your research.
- Ask the course professor or the Anthropology librarian, Nadine Anderson, for help