We've all known the big search engines over the years, but what are some alternative search engines that can help students?

We all know Google, but what other alternative search engines are out there?

The Google search engine has become such a part of our world that it’s even a common turn of phrase; “Did you Google that?” is one the most commonly heard sentences in my home (hey, I have teenagers). Search engines have elevated the speed in which we learn just about everything anymore. Even before you finish typing your question, Google is already auto-filling in your question with helpful suggestions.

This is especially great news if you are a student needing information and resources with some quick keystrokes. However, even the Grandfather Google could be shortchanging you in your search query more than alternative search engines might. According to royalsociety.org : ” Our own previous search activity can also affect the results we are given. We rarely use the internet for a single task. I might, for example, be looking for a wheelbarrow I need in my garden, and then doing some academic research later in the day. But that earlier search history can stick with you, and this can bias the results you are served up later. This is problematic, for example, if I was searching for two different, divergent viewpoints on the same topic in an attempt to perhaps understand different communities on either side of an argument. It could only serve to exacerbate the bubbles we find ourselves in rather than allowing us to access information on all sides of an argument.”

The great news is that there are more than just the big boys of search engines, like Google or Bing. Many have a focus on sciences and research. Check out these great alternative search engines next time you are in research mode.

  • Refseek.com

    RefSeek is a web search engine for students and researchers that aims to make academic information easily accessible to everyone. RefSeek searches more than five billion documents, including web pages, books, encyclopedias, journals, and newspapers.

    RefSeek’s unique approach offers students comprehensive subject coverage without the information overload of a general search engine—increasing the visibility of academic information and compelling ideas that are often lost in a muddle of sponsored links and commercial results.

  • WorldCat


    WorldCat.org is a great resource for locating unique, trustworthy materials that you often can’t find anywhere except in a library. And by connecting thousands of libraries’ collections in one place, WorldCat.org makes it easy for you to browse the world’s libraries from one easy search box.

    During the past 50+ years, thousands of libraries have entered their information about millions of books, magazines, movies, songs, maps, genealogical records, research theses and so much more into WorldCat. And not just the physical items you could find when you visit a library, but many kinds of digital content like open-source e-books, articles, downloadable audiobooks, and photos. You can also find article citations with links to full text, authoritative research materials, one-of-a-kind documents and photos of local or historic significance, and digital versions of rare items that aren’t generally available to the public.


  • Springernature.com

    Committed to open research, we offer researchers, institutions and their funders open access (OA) options for journals, books and sharing research data.

    We make academic research freely accessible and discoverable through partnerships, innovation and collaboration with communities across science, technology, medicine, the humanities and social sciences.


    Come and discover Springer Nature today! 🤓✨ #fyp #upd #up #updlibrary

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  • Bioline International


    Bioline International is a not-for-profit scholarly publishing cooperative committed to providing open access to quality research journals published in developing countries. BI’s goal of reducing the South to North knowledge gap is crucial to a global understanding of health (tropical medicine, infectious diseases, epidemiology, emerging new diseases), biodiversity, the environment, conservation and international development. By providing a platform for the distribution of peer-reviewed journals (currently from Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda and Venezuela), BI helps to reduce the global knowledge divide by making bioscience information generated in these countries available to the international research community world-wide.


  • RePEc (Research Papers in Economics)

    RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) is an initiative that seeks to enhance the dissemination of research in Economics and related areas. We want to make research more accessible both for the authors and the readers. RePEc is a crowd-sourced effort: a) thousands of people and organizations contribute the underlying data, b) a core team of contributors manage the system, and c) sponsor organizations provide the infrastructure. As such, the RePEc initiative has no central expenses, and thus can provide all services for free to all users.


  • Science.gov

    Science.gov is a U.S. government website providing a search tool for finding scientific and technical information from across top U.S. federal agencies. Science.gov is the U.S. contribution to WorldWideScience.org, which provides access to science information from national and international scientific databases and portals.



  • Base-Search.net

    BASE is one of the world’s most voluminous search engines especially for academic web resources. BASE provides more than 340 million documents from more than 11,000 content providers. You can access the full texts of about 60% of the indexed documents for free (Open Access). BASE is operated by Bielefeld University Library.  


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