This guide provides information and links to resources and services to help you with your research in Vivian Shaw's course. If you have any questions about the libraries or about doing research at Harvard, please don't hesitate to ask.
Kathleen Sheehan

Resources for Background, Context & Literature Reviews

  • Annual Review of Sociology offers comprehensive collections of critical reviews written by leading scholars.
  • Oxford Bibliographies. Sociology presents annotated bibliographies prepared by scholars who have chosen the key sources in a subject area.
  • Oxford Handbooks Online offers introductions to topics and critical surveys of the current state of scholarship in particular fields of study. The articles included review key issues and major debates in each field.
    • Oxford Handbook of Social Movements
    • Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements

Finding Scholarly Sources

This is a selection of resources for finding journals articles. If you are interested in finding additional resources, try the All Databases section of the Library site.

Sociology and Related Disciplines

  • Sociological Abstracts is a core resource in sociology, social planning/policy, and related disciplines. It includes citations and abstracts from over 1800 journals, relevant dissertations, books and book chapters, and association papers.

  • GenderWatch is a full text database of unique and diverse publications that focus on the impact of gender across a broad spectrum of subject areas. The database provides abstracts and the full text of some 175 scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, and conference proceedings, and more.

  • Race Relations Abstracts provides indexing to "essential areas related to race relations, including ethnic studies, discrimination, immigration studies, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline." Some 40,000 records are included.

  • PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) indexes the public and social policy literature of public administration, political science, economics, finance, international relations, law, and health care.


  • Web of Science (Citation Indexes) is a multidisciplinary database indexing major journals in the Sciences, Social Sciences and the Humanities. It allows you to find who has cited an article since its publication.
  • Google Scholar enables you to search for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. GoogleScholar also enables citation searching.

Finding Books

At Harvard

When you are looking for books and articles on a topic, use the default search in HOLLIS, which is a keyword search. A keyword search for leads to related subjects: Once you have done a search, note the "facets" on the right side of the page. Selecting a facet enables you to narrow your search by language, source type, subject, etc.

Beyond Harvard

For books not currently available at Harvard,

  • Use Borrow Direct to request it from one of the libraries in this network. If available you should receive the book within 4 days. 
  • If the book is not available through Borrow Direct or the item is an article, you can submit an Interlibrary Loan request to borrow it from a broader network of libraries.

If you find an item in another library that you think the Harvard Library should own, you can submit a Collections Purchase Request.

Data Resources

For assistance with finding and using data resources and government documents in the library, please contact Diane Sredl, Data Reference Librarian at govdoc@fas.harvard.edu.  Here are a couple of the research guides they have created to assist you with finding data:

Helpful Services & Tools