Step 1: Use Zotero to organize and cite your research

If you haven't had a chance to set up a Zotero Collection for your PAE yet, do it now! Zotero not only helps you keep track of and correctly format citations—it is also a fantastic tool to keep your research and notes neatly organized in one place, easily searchable, and safely backed up into the cloud.

And if you're working with a partner, you can even create a collaborative Zotero group library that you can all contribute to and share research in.

Three ways to get help using Zotero: 

  1. Check our Zotero Guide.
  2. Email HKS Librarians to make an individual or small group appointment. We can help you with most things from installation troubleshooting to organizing your library, from inserting and formatting citations in Word or Google Docs to setting up a collaborative group library.
  3. Attend a workshop. Dates and times are posted on KNet.
Not sure which citation style to use? Check with your adviser and/or your PAC seminar leader. Then check out our guide to the different citation styles most commonly used at HKS.

Step 2: Brush up on research methods

Step 3: Start searching general library resources

The place to start searching for books (both print and electronic) is Harvard's library catalog, HOLLIS:

For help with HOLLIS, see the HOLLIS User Guide.
Search tips:
  1. Sign in to HOLLIS with your Harvard Key for the most complete results and a more streamlined user experience.
  2. Use the "Library Catalog" search option (not "Everything") if you're looking specifically for books, journals, or previous PAEs.
  3. Use filters and facets to refine your search results if necessary, or use the advanced search option for more targeted searches.


Scholarly articles

For scholarly articles, start with one or several of our broad, multi-disciplinary databases:

Then, explore the more specialized resources recommended in the "Dig Deeper" section of this guide or in our subject-specific research guides (e.g., Criminal Justice, Health Policy, or Poverty & Income Inequality). 

News articles
For news, check the vast array of individual publications you have access to on our guide to popular newspapers and magazines. Also check the following aggregators, which both allow you to search over multiple publications simultaneously and include many publications that are not available individually:
Policy papers and other gray literature

First, try our HKS Think Tank Search, a custom Google search across the websites of 1,200+ U.S. and international think tanks. Simply search using standard Google conventions (i.e. putting quotation marks around phrases). 

Also of interest:

Most past PAEs can be discovered in HOLLIS. If you know the title and/or author, you can use these to search for the PAE. You can also enter "policy analysis exercise" using quotes in your search and add keywords to find relevant PAEs.

Here are some example searches including keywords:

Starting with the MPP class of 2020, PAEs are available electronically. Earlier PAEs can be requested in print using the "request pickup" option on their respective HOLLIS record; they will be delivered to the HKS Library and can be used in the library only.