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SSCI E-597 | Identity Precapstone: Theory and Practice (Martin)

Fall 2020 edition



This resource guide has been designed by the Harvard Library for students in Professor Ricky Martin's Fall 2022 Identity Pre-capstone course. On a high level, it aims to point you toward subject databases that will complement or supplement information you may already uncovered via HOLLIS, Google Scholar, and JSTOR searching.

Please feel free to contact any of the librarians listed below. Expertise is distributed across the logo harvard extension school library research course guidesHarvard Libraries -- but as an Extension School student, that expertise is at your service, no matter where you hail from. 

If questions about finding, accessing, or managing information arise at any point in your project, librarians are your lifelines!  

Librarians will triage by email, meet you in person (if you are in the Cambridge area) or set up a a Zoom consult at a time that works for you.

Enjoy your work!

Sue Gilroy, Research Librarian and Liaison to Social Studies, WGS, and AAAS, Lamont Library

Kathleen Sheehan, Research Librarian and Liaison to Psychology and Sociology, Lamont  Library 

Michael Leach, Collections Librarian and Liaison to Psychology, Cabot Science Library

Susan Gilman, Research Librarian and Library Director, Tozzer Anthropology Library

Julie Fiveash, Indigenous Studies Librarian, Tozzer Anthropology Library

Virtual Research Appointments, Gutman Education Library, Harvard

Contexts and Methods

Annual Reviews

Since 1932, the Annual Reviews series has offered authoritative syntheses of the primary research literature in 46 academic fields, including political sciencesociologyanthropology, and public health.

A search of Annual Reviews can therefore help you easily identify—and contextualize—the principal contributions that have been made in your field.  The comprehensive critical review not only summarizes a topic but also roots out errors of fact or concept and provokes discussion that will lead to new research activity. 

The advanced search screen  offers excellent search tips, including ways select certain AR titles or limit to particular disciplines and narrow by date.


Remember that the Annual Reviews series, while highly respected, is just one source of the published literature review, by one publisher.

In the field of Psychology, for example, an APA publication called Current Directions in Psychological Science is also a source of reviews by leading experts and a way to keep apprised of developments

Your best bet for finding them is simply to filter -- before or after your keyword search -- to literature reviews. The standard scholarly research databases you'll be using: APA PsycInfo, Social Science Premium Collection, PubMed, and Web of Science all permit this limit. You may find it under "document type" or "methodology," depending on the database.


Oxford Bibliographies Online

OBOs combine the best features of the annotated bibliography with an authoritative subject encyclopedia to help you identify some of the most important and influential scholarship on a broad social, political, cultural or interdisciplinary  topic. They're regularly updated to remain current.

Often the issue in information-seeking isn't scarcity of material but overabundance. OBO entries can help you solve the problem of knowing what or who to read or which voices in the conversation you should give some fuller attention to.


Sage Research Methods Online

The ultimate methods library, it has more than 1000 books, reference works, journal articles, case studies, and instructional videos by world-leading academics from across the social sciences. It also boasts the largest collection of qualitative methods books available online from any scholarly publisher. 

Users can browse content by topic, discipline, or format type (reference works, book chapters, definitions, etc.). SRM offers several research tools as well: a methods map; user- created readng lists; a project planner' and advice on choosing statistical tests.


Searching for Scholarship Beyond HOLLIS






Film Studies




ASSIA designed to serve the information needs of the caring professions, including practitioners, researchers, and students in healthcare, social services, education, and related areas. It is focused on a core of around 500 of the most relevant English language scholarly journals covering aspects of health and social care from a broadly social scientific perspective.

  • PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service)

A central resource for published (and some unpublished) research related to public policy.

Identifies and describes current research focused on social work, human services and related areas, including social welfare, social policy and community development


HOLLIS Refresher for Capstone Projects

Using HOLLIS Well: Three Considerations


1.  Understand what HOLLIS is.

HOLLIS combines the extensive contents of our library catalog, the record every item owned by every Harvard Library with those of another, large and multidisciplinary database of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles. 

The system default is to search both of these large databases, but you can make different choices (excluding one or the other) before or after you execute a search. 


2. Know how to work HOLLIS.

Creating search strings with some of the techniques below can help you get better results up front. 


 3.  Take Control of Your Search Results.

While the broad and panoramic approach to searching HOLLIS can be mind-opening, you can sometimes find yourself overwhelmed by either the numbers or types of results your search returns.

When that happens, try one of these easy tricks:

  • Limit your Everything search results set just to the items listed in the LIBRARY CATALOG.

Your numbers will immediately get smaller. Keep in mind, though, that the results will be heavily weighted toward book-length studies.

  • Limit your Everything search results set to items that are identified as PEER REVIEWED ARTICLES.

You'll eliminate newspaper and magazine materials as well as books, of course, but you'll also raise the visibility of scholarly journal articles in what displays. 

  • Think about limiting your results to publications from the last 5, 10, 15, or 20 years.

By doing so you'll get a snapshot of the most recent research trends and scholarly approaches in a field (or around a particular issue).


Scan and Deliver

When an article you need is available in a print journal at Harvard but not online, you can ask us to make a PDF for you through a service called Scan and Deliver.

We'll send you an email when it's ready for downloading, typically between 1 and 4 days after you place the request. Scan and Deliver is a free service to Harvard affiliates.

Scan and Deliver is also an option if you want up to two chapters of any Harvard-owned book digitized for your use.  

NOTE: Initiate Scan and Deliver requests through HOLLIS.



When you're far from Cambridge, identifying books in print and on shelves in Harvard's library buildings can seem like a futile exercise. You can, however, often get your hands on items your find in HOLLIS even if you live many miles away from the Yard.


WorldCatthis is a database of library catalogs and useful for identifying college, university, and other library collections that are in your vicinity.  Search for the title; WorldCat will attempt to geolocate, but you can also enter your ZIPCODE to identify your options.

With WorldCat, you're going beyond the BorrowDirect consortium and beyond our reciprocal lending agreements.  However, as long as any of the area libraries allow you in (often a phone call or a scan of the website will clarify policy), you'll be in luck!

Check the catalog of the large PUBLIC LIBRARY in your area.  Depending on the region, the size of the library, its mission, and its funding, a local public library may have a significant research component to its collection (The Boston Public Library at Copley Square is a prime example). 

Ask your local library about an INTERLIBRARY LOAN.  Libraries routinely borrow from each other on behalf of their patrons; if you have a library card, you should be able to request it (or have a librarian do so).  ILL can take a bit of time, however. You might wait a week or a bit more before the item arrives. Some places charge a small fee for the service. 

Borrow Direct Plus: currently enrolled Extension School students who live near a member of this library consortium can obtain a card that allows access to the collections and privileges similar to those at Harvard libraries.  

Participating members: Brown U, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, U of Chicago, U Penn, Yale

If you live close by the college or university from which you graduated, ask about ALUMNI PRIVILEGES there


While You're Searching

  • Chat with a librarian.  Access via the right-side blue button on library pages.  Hours vary on Fridays and weekends, but Mondays-Thursdays, someone is available 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


For More Complicated Questions about HOLLIS (or your research needs)

  • Use our Ask a Librarian page to submit a question by emial OR set up an appointment with a research librarian.  Normal turnaround time is 24 hours (or less). 


Ways to Help Yourself 

Getting Past Paywalls on the Web


One simple change can turn Google Scholar into what's effectively a Harvard database -- with links to the full-text of articles that the library can provide. Here's what to do:  Look to the left of the GS screen and click on the "hamburger" (); then click on .  Look for "Library Links."  Then type Harvard University into the search box and save your choice.  As long as you allow cookies, the settings will keep.

Lean Library: a browser plugin that (nearly always) identifies digital availability of items at Harvard and runs automatically as you search books and articles.  This can sometimes seem intrusive, however.


If it is, another option is to set up a Check Harvard Library Bookmark. It works like a browser extension that you click on when you need it. Directions are available here: