How to do research in Education

Library resources for researchers working on Higher Education, Early Childhood, K-12, Teaching


Topic-specific keywords will help improve your results in a general, multidisciplinary database like Google Scholar, HOLLIS, or Academic Search Premier.

 Try adding some of the following terms:

  • Topics - education, teacher, classroom, student, school 
  • Educational levels - elementary, secondary, higher education 
  • Geographic terms - Finland, Finnish, Sub-Saharan, foreign countries, developing nations


The best tool for your project may be a specialized search engine, also known as a database. These databases are subject-specific or format-specific search tools:

3-in-1 Education Articles Search (via HarvardKey) is the best place to get started on article research for most education-related topics. It searches across two major education databases (Education Source and ERIC), as well as a broad multidisciplinary articles database (Academic Search Premier).

PsycINFO (via HarvardKey) contains literature in psychology and related disciplines (psychiatry, education, linguistics, neurosciences, etc.).

Dig Deeper 

6 Essential Research Tools at HGSE is a great starting point for tips and advice on education research. provides a helpful overview of six essential research tools for education research.

Databases for Education- explore the full list of databases in this subject category.


Ning Zou, Associate Director for Student Academic Services and Learning Design at Gutman Library, is available to support researchers or direct them to other experts.

Featured Collection

Gutman Library at Harvard's Graduate School of Education features extensive collections and expertise in the subject of education. The library advances the work of students, practitioners, researchers, and historians.

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Talk to a librarian for advice on defining your topic, developing your research strategy, and locating and using sources. Make an appointment now.

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