Download and Configure Zotero

Harvard Library has a good guide to using Zotero, a free, open-source citation management tool that makes the process of collecting and organizing citations, incorporating them into your paper, and creating a bibliography or works cited page, stress-free and nearly effortless. The Zotero guide includes links to upcoming training sessions which you register to attend.

Change Google Scholar Settings to Eliminate Paywalls

  • You can connect Google Scholar to Harvard Library access:
  • Other good ways to identify full-text content when searching the web outside of Harvard Library databases include: 

Request PDFs of Our Materials Through Scan and Deliver

  • Use Scan and Deliver to quickly (between 1 and 4 days) get PDFs of items we own, including up to two journal articles that appear in the same issue of any journal, and up to two chapters from a single book in our collection.
  • You can also request digitized materials from our Special Collections libraries (Houghton, Schlesinger, University Archives), which take between 1 to 4 weeks.

Ask Us to Get Items We Don't Own

  • Interlibrary Loan is not only for requesting an entire print book or entire journal issue that Harvard doesn't own (if you live near campus to pick up and return at the libraries), but is also for requesting an electronic scan of up to two articles from a single journal and up to two book chapters from a single book, which Harvard doesn't own. 
  • Or, our Purchase Request Form allows you to suggest that Harvard Library acquires a book, film, journal, database, etc. and also allows you to request an e-copy as the preferred format.   
  • Borrow Direct, if you are near campus, allows you to request an item from one of several participating libraries, offering a potentially quicker option than Interlibrary Loan, but is only for print materials. 

Find Books Near You by Searching in WorldCat

WorldCat is a catalog combining the contents from libraries across North America (and some worldwide). Search for titles in WorldCat to identify copies at academic or public libraries that are geographically closer to you, especially if you have borrowing privileges there.

Back Up Your Files

Have a file backup plan, just in case. Having multiple copies, accessible in multiple ways, is essential. An external hard drive, a USB flash drive, stored safely, will help you sleep soundly as deadlines approach:

  • Free cloud storage solutions to consider include Google Drive, DropBox, or (if you're a Microsoft user) OneDrive. 
  • Zotero gives you free, unlimited storage for the research materials you access in PDF form and the notes you make about them. Register with your Harvard email address to access unlimited storage through Zotero.

Get Academic Support

Know when, where, and how to get academic support, and from whom.