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[HLS] Future of the Family: Adoption, Reproduction and Child Welfare

For Professor Bartholet's Future of the Family class-Fall 2014



This guide is designed to pull together sources that are useful for writing papers in the class Future of the Family: Adoption, Reproduction and Child Welfare.  The paper topics for this class are often very interdisciplinary in nature.  You might want to start with a book for background reading and to contextualize your topic.   This section highlights some books in our collection on a variety of topics, but you could also search Hollis.  For articles, you might want to start with some general interdisciplinary sources listed to left (e.g. Google Scholar) but then move to databases more specific to your discipline, such as the ones listed on this tab

General Interdisciplinary Sources-Getting Started

Finding Books

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Family & Children's Law Casebooks, Treatises & Other Books

Casebooks and legal education texts

Searching for books generally

Other books

The following books are some recent books on more narrow topics.  Make sure you check the Hollis record before going to the shelf in case it has been checked out.

Sample LC subject heading searches in Hollis, databases

Legal Research

Finding legal articles

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child/CEDAW

International and Foreign Law

Depending on your topic, you might want to check out regional studies and regional news databases.  See research guides or Find Databases and E-Resources and Helpful HLSL E-Resources.

Subject Specific Research Sources

Tools for finding additional databases


Child Welfare












Tips on Searching

Any Human Resources?

Sometimes the best way, or fastest way, to an answer is by calling or emailing someone to ask a question, rather than searching for hours on the web or in databases. Think of individuals or organizations who might be interested and/or knowledgeable about your topic. If you need help finding either, contact the reference desk at 617-495-4516.

Keyword Searches Not Working?

If so, think of limiting factors such as:

  • Geographical Units (i.e. Country Names, Regional Parts of the World, i.e. Latin America)
  • Time Periods (i.e. 19th century, 20th century)
  • History

Is Searching the Abstract an Option?

Some databases, although not all, have a field called the Abstract or Summary, which is generally about 1-2 paragraphs, describing the contents of the article.  If you have a hard time determining the subject terms that are best for you paper, and keyword searching just returns way too many results, try looking to see if the database includes an Abstract field. Oftentimes, these abstracts are provided by the author. If you start to find your search terms popping up in abstracts, then you really might be on the same wavelength as the author.

Finding People and Organizations

Google Search

Add "" to search. ("" for educational institutions)

Google Web Search

Custom Search Engines

Encyclopedia of Associations/Associations Unlimited

Leadership Directories

Gale Directory Library

Statistics and Data

Databases for Statistical Information

Think about country/jurisdiction and who might keep or be interested in such statistics.  News searching may also be useful in identifying statistics. 

Additional research guides

Selected statistical websites and databases

General statistical resources

Polling/Public Opinion

News sources are also useful for identifying polling data.


Newspaper and news collections

Specific aggregated news sources

Specific newspapers

Keeping Current


screenshot showing how to create an alert for a saved search

Many of our online databases have alerting features so you can save a search and be alerted for future results.


SSRN alerts

SSRN is an open resource that is great for finding papers (particularly working papers), but the library also subcribes to many fee-based journals that serve as a great current awareness tool.  You must regisgter for an SSRN account and affiliate yourself with Harvard. (Ask a librarian for assistance.)

New Books



Use LexisNexis and Westlaw alerts to create customized email updates which run automatic updates of searches on a schedule you select. You can choose for the results to be automatically emailed or you can choose to be notified of new results when you sign on.

Getting Help

Chat with us

Getting Help


HLS students are entitled to receive special research instruction. 

Chat by entering your question in the CHAT box on the left. 

Note:  There is not always a librarian to answer your question, but you will receive help within 24 hours if you leave an email address.

Email Michelle Pearse at You can also request an appointment for a one-on-one research consultation in general via this form.

Visit the reference desk on the 4th floor of the library.

Call the reference desk at 617-495-4516.

Citation/Reference Management Tools