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New Research Component Enhances the Harvard Libraries Web Site

The Harvard Libraries web site—which is located at and accessible directly from the "Libraries" button on Harvard's home page—serves as an online gateway to the rich library resources of Harvard University. In a continuing effort to enhance the information available on this valuable web site, the University Library's Office for Information Systems has added a new category entitled "Conducting Research." Links in this category unite a variety of resources that librarians across the University have developed for specific disciplines and subject areas, including "Finding Materials at Harvard," general research guides, research guides by subject, guides to individual resources, and a list of Harvard libraries by subject area.

"Finding Materials at Harvard" is an overview of the Harvard libraries that contains links to major online library informational sites. General research guides cover the HOLLIS Catalog, finding specific types of material, using EndNote at Harvard, evaluating and citing sources, and keeping current on research in various fields. Subject research guides, compiled by librarians across the campus, offer in-depth guidance on research in a range of topical areas, from architecture to zoology. Guides to individual resources provide instructions and advice on using specific databases and electronic resources such as LexisNexis, MEDLINE, and Factiva. Researchers may use the selective listing of Harvard libraries by subject area to identify the most appropriate libraries on campus for their areas of interest.

Kathleen Donovan, reference librarian at the Gutman Library of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, chairs the interfaculty Harvard Libraries Portal Interface Committee (HLPIC). According to Donovan, "Librarians at Harvard have spent considerable time and effort compiling comprehensive guides to research in a number of areas and, up to this point, these guides have been available only from the individual library web sites. We feel that it is important to highlight these valuable resources by providing access from the central library web site as well."

In addition to "Conducting Research," the Harvard Libraries web site provides access to over 11,000 electronic journals and databases, the use of which generally requires a Harvard ID and PIN. There are also links to the HOLLIS Catalog (and other catalogs at Harvard and beyond), information about all of the Harvard libraries and archival repositories, an FAQ for visitors, and general information about Harvard University Library programs and events.

Comments and suggestions should be addressed to the HLPIC committee at

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Last modified on Tuesday, March 16, 2004.