I need to do some research in Medicine. Where do I start?


Search terms that can help you improve your results in HOLLIS, Academic Search Premier (Harvard login), 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

To get started in the study of the History of Medicine, contact the departmental library liaisons Fred Burchsted or Emily Bell

You can find our experts’ guidance and quick links on our Research Guides in Medicine or Research Guides in Public Health pages. Given the breadth of topics, it may be useful to simply dive into PubMed (below).


PubMed (Harvard login) 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. Guide to searching PubMed

Web of Science (Harvard login) 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 (Harvard login) 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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