How to do research in Psychology

Library resources for researchers working in psychology, brain science, cognitive, clinical and social psychology.


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

Add keywords like these to your search:

  • Subject terms - bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress, consciousness
  • Age terms - adolescence, adulthood
  • Methodology terms - interview, literature review, quantitative study




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:

PsycINFO (via HarvardKey) – is the major database for scholarship in psychology. It is produced by the American Psychological Association. Use filters on the left side of the page to refine your searches. Coverage dates back to 1872.

PubMed (via HarvardKey) – is the major database for scholarship in biomedicine, health, and related disciplines, including behavioral science. It is produced by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The database contains citations to research published in more than 4,800 biomedical journals.


Dig Deeper

PSY 971/975: Contemporary Issues in Psychology, a research guide for new concentrators, provides a helpful overview and discipline specific-resources for anyone doing research in psychology.

Databases for Psychology - explore the full list of Harvard Library databases in this subject category.



Kathleen Sheehan and Michael Leach are the research contacts for Psychology: they’re both available to support researchers via email or in-person consultation.

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