Important Search Engines Every Research Should Know

General

Need to get started with a broader search? These academic search engines are great resources.

  1. RefSeek: With more than 1 billion documents, web pages, books, journals, newspapers, and more, RefSeek offers authoritative resources in just about any subject, without all of the mess of sponsored links and commercial results.
  2. Digital Library of the Commons Repository: Check out the DLC to find international literature including free and open access full-text articles, papers, and dissertations.
  3. OAIster: Search the OAIster database to find millions of digital resources from thousands of contributors, especially open access resources.
  4. Internet Public Library: Find resources by subject through the Internet Public Library’s database.
  5. Infomine: The Infomine is an incredible tool for finding scholarly Internet resource collections, especially in the sciences.
  6. Microsoft Academic Search: Microsoft’s academic search engine offers access to more than 38 million different publications, with features including maps, graphing, trends, and paths that show how authors are connected.
  7. Google Correlate: Google’s super cool search tool will allow you to find searches that correlate with real-world data.
  8. Wolfram|Alpha: Using expert-level knowledge, this search engine doesn’t just find links; it answers questions, does analysis, and generates reports.

Meta Search

Want the best of everything? Use these Meta search engines that return results from multiple sites all at once.

  1. Dogpile: Find the best of all the major search engines with Dogpile, an engine that returns results from Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, with categories including Web, Images, Video, and even White Pages.
  2. MetaCrawler: MetaCrawler makes it easy to “search the search engines,” returning results from Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
  3. Mamma: Check out the mother of all search engines to pin down the best resources on the web. Mamma even searches Twitter and job postings!

Databases and Archives

Resources like the Library of Congress have considerable archives and documents available, and many of them have taken their collections online. Use these search tools to get access to these incredible resources.

  1. Library of Congress: In this incredible library, you’ll get access to searchable source documents, historical photos, and amazing digital collections.
  2. Archives Hub: Find the best of what Britain has to offer in the Archives Hub. You’ll be able to search archives from almost 200 institutions from England, Scotland, and Wales.
  3. National Archives: Check out this resource for access to the National Archives. Find online, public access to find historic documents, research, government information, and more in a single search.
  4. arXiv e-Print Archive: Cornell University’s arXiv.org offers open access to a wealth of e-prints in math, science, and related subjects. Search this resource to find what you need among 756,133 documents and counting.
  5. Archivenet: An initiative of the Historical Centre Overijssel, Archivenet makes it easy to find Dutch archives and more.
  6. Smithsonian Institution Research Information System: Get access to the considerable resources of the Smithsonian Institution through the Research Information System, a great way to search more than 7.4 million records from the Smithsonian’s museums, archives, and libraries.
  7. The British Library Catalogues & Collections: Explore the British Library catalogues, printed materials, digital collections, and even collection blogs for a wealth of resources.
  8. CIA World Factbook: As the center of intelligence, the CIA has certainly done its job with The World Factbook, offering information on major reference information around the world. History, people, government, economy, and more are all covered in this online publication.
  9. State Legislative Websites Directory: Use this database to find information from the legislatures of all 50 U.S. states, DC, and the Territories. You can look up bills, statutes, legislators, and more with this excellent tool.
  10. OpenDOAR: In the Directory of Open Access Repositories, you can search through freely academic research information with more directly useful resources.
  11. Catalog of U.S. Government Publications: Search through the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications to find descriptive records for historical and current publications, with direct links where available.

Books & Journals

Instead of heading to the library to bury your face in the stacks, use these search engines to find out which libraries have the books you need, and maybe even find them available online.

  1. WorldCat: Find items from 10,000 libraries worldwide, with books, DVDs, CDs, and articles up for grabs. You can even find your closest library with WorldCat’s tools.
  2. Google Books: Supercharge your research by searching this index of the world’s books. You’ll find millions for free and others you can preview to find out if they’re what you’re looking for.
  3. Scirus: For scientific information only, Scirus is a comprehensive research tool with more than 460 million scientific items including journal content, courseware, patents, educational websites, and more.
  4. N-Says: For Book search, Journal search, article search N-Says is the leading search engine with more than 1 million article database.
  5. Vadlo: Vadlo is a life sciences search engine offering protocols, tools, and powerpoints for scientific research and discovery. Find what you’re looking for, and then stick around to check out the forums.
  6. Open Library: Find the world’s classic literature, open e-books, and other excellent open and free resources in the Open Library. You can even contribute to the library with information, corrections to the catalog, and curated lists.
  7. Online Journals Search Engine: In this free, powerful scientific search engine, you can discover journals, articles, research reports, and books in scientific publications.
  8. Google Scholar: Check out Google Scholar to find only scholarly resources on Google. The search specializes in articles, patents, and legal documents, and even has a resource for gathering your citations.
  9. Bioline International: Search Bioline International to get connected with a variety of scientific journals. The search is managed by scientists and librarians as a collaborative initiative between Bioline Toronto and and the Reference Center on Environmental Information.
  10. Directory of Open Access Journals: When you need top-quality journal writings for free, the Directory of Open Access Journals is a great place to check out. You’ll get access to a searchable journal of full-text quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.
  11. Jurn: In this curated academic search engine, you’ll get results from over 4,000 free scholarly e-journals in the arts and humanities.