Answered By: John Harvard
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2017     Views: 76


Search terms that can help you improve your results in HOLLIS+, Academic Search Premier, and other multidisciplinary resources:

  • subdisciplines: cardiology "geriatric medicine," "health care policy"
  • persons: "Phineas Gage," "Oliver Wendell Holmes," "Walter Willett"
  • things: heart, nitroglycerine, "medical instruments"
  • disease: cancer, atherosclerosis, "digestive diseases"
  • treatment/procedures: "oxygen therapy,"  "CT scan," "reconstructive surgery"


Send questions about beginning research in this subject area to Ask a Librarian. If you’re on the Cambridge campus, feel free to stop by the reference desk at Cabot Library.

To get started in the study of the History of Medicine, contact Fred Burchsted or Emily Bell. They are the Library Liaisons to the History of Medicine.

You can find our experts’ guidance and quick links on the FAS page for Research Guides in Medicine and Public Health page or for more in-depth information check out the Countway Library Research Guides page.


PubMed is the principal database for medicine; it indexes the major medical literature (journal articles) as well as selected monographs of congresses and symposia back to the mid 1950s.

Web of Science indexes major journals in the sciences (although it’s part of a multidisciplinary database). Because the information stored about each article includes the article's cited reference list (often called its bibliography), you can also search the databases for articles that cite a known author or work, also called a “cited reference search.” It contains articles dating back to the 19th century. Guide to searching Web of Science

PsycINFO indexes professional and academic literature (journal articles) in psychology and related disciplines.



I need to do some research in the History of Science. Where should I start?

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