This guide provides information and links to resources and services to help you with your research in Tom Wooten'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

The following sources provide definitions of sociological terms, background on theories and movements in the social sciences and biographical information on important scholars.  For additional reference sources from the Harvard Library, try searching HOLLIS+ for "encyclopedias", "dictionaries" or "companion" with a keyword, such as education.

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.

  • ERIC is an online library of education research and information, sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

  • 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.

  • Social Sciences Premium Collection is an Index and full text database covering the international literature in politics, sociology, social services, anthropology, criminology and education. Together, they provide abstracts, indexing and full text coverage of journal articles, books, book chapters, dissertations, working papers and more.


  • 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 Data

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:

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.

Helpful Services & Tools