This guide provides information and links to resources and services to help you with your research in Dr. Tiffanie Ting'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.

  • Annual Review of Sociology offers comprehensive collections of critical reviews written by leading scholars.
  • Web of Science published by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), is a multidisciplinary database, covering the journal literature of the sciences, social sciences and arts. You can also search the databases for articles that cite a known author or work.
  • Oxford Bibliographies. Sociology presents annotated bibliographies prepared by scholars who have chosen the key sources in a subject area.

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

  • ERIC is the major index to journal articles and documents relating to education. The document collection includes curriculum guides, lesson plans, research reports, conference papers, publications of educational associations, and other research and instructional materials.

  • Education Source is the world's largest full-text research database designed for education students, professionals and policymakers. It provides full text, indexing and abstracts for thousands of education journals, books and education-related conference papers.

  • 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.


  • HOLLIS is the library's main search interface. It includes the Harvard library catalog as well as a huge (and more heterogeneous) collection of citations for a variety of materials, including articles and book chapters.
  • 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. 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, you make a request through Borrow Direct.

  • If one of the libraries in this network has the book, you should receive it 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, which takes an average of 2 weeks.

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 and John Baldisserotto, Electronic Documents & Data Librarian, at govdoc@fas.harvard.edu.  Here are a couple of the research guides they have created to assist you with finding data:

Below is a list of a few of the data resources available to you:

  • ProQuest Statistical Insight is a bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts the statistical content of selected United States government publications, state government, business, association and intergovernmental publications.
  • Roper Center for Public Opinion provides access to summary-level (aggregate) and micro-level (raw) public opinion data. The Roper Center resources require users to set up individual accounts in order to gain access to the data.
  • General Social Survey (GSS) has been monitoring societal change in the United states since 1972. It is one of the most frequently analyzed sources of information in the social sciences and is used by legislators, policymakers, researchers, educators.

Helpful Services & Tools