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Expos 20: Genetics & Bioethics [Spring 2021]

A brief guide to research tools for finding quality information

Getting Started

This guide provides you with a curated set of resources to help find sources for paper 3.



HOLLIS is the main search engine for the library. It gives information on all the physical items the library owns (books, maps, manuscripts, etc), as well as access to millions of articles. You'll almost always be able to find something relevant in HOLLIS, but its size can sometimes make it overwhelming.

Everything vs Library Catalog

There are two sections of HOLLIS, Everything and Library Catalog.  There are exceptions, but basically the Library Catalog searches for books, and Everything searches for books plus articles. 

When Should You Use HOLLIS?

HOLLIS can give you a broad view of a given subject, especially one like bioethics, which can be examined from many different angles. 

HOLLIS is also a good place to look for current information and new research. Information often ends up in HOLLIS before it gets entered into subject-based search engines.

Want more help using HOLLIS? There's a guide for that!


Academic subject areas all have their own search engines, or databases, that search just the scholarly literature for that subject. PubMed is the primary database for the study of medicine. If you want to discover how medical professionals talk about genetics and bioethics, PubMed is a good place to go.

Be aware though that most of these articles are written by physicians and scientists for other physicians and scientists, so the language can be very technical. 

Tip: Try looking for a review article on the subject you're researching. These articles summarize the findings of previous research and can be a good entry point into the scholarly conversation.

Note: always use PubMed through a Harvard link so you ensure you're getting access to all the articles the library buys for you.

Want more help using PubMed? There's a guide for that.