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Top 11 Trusted (And Free) Search Engines For Scientific and Academic Research

by Katie Alice on December 3, 2013


Whether Conducting Academic Research or Purely Scientific Research, These Sites can be an Invaluable Aid.

Researching is the most crucial step of writing a scientific paper. It is always a well-researched scientific paper that inspires the assessor. At the same time, it must have genuine and authentic information for credibility. With the development in Internet industry, i.e., web resources, researching for scientific materials has now become a matter of a few clicks. Now students can get information on any topic pertaining to science through academic search engines. They provide a centralized platform and allow the students to acquire literature on any topic within seconds.

scientific academic research image top internet sources
While there are many academic search engines available, there are some that have the most trusted resources. They provide information on a range of topics from Engineering and technology to Biology and Natural Science. They provide a one-stop solution to all research-related needs for a scientific paper. Besides, they provide a personal and customized way to search research materials on any given topic. This article will focus on some popular academic search engines that have revolutionized the way information is researched by the students. They are rich in information and have the highest level of credibility.

  1. Google Scholar ( Google Scholar is a free academic search engine that indexes academic information from various online web resources. The Google Scholar lists information across an array of academic resources, mostly are peer-reviewed. It works in the same manner as Scirus. Founded in 2004, it is one of the widely used academic resources for researchers and scholars.
  2. CiteSeerx ( CiteSeerx is a digital library and an online academic journal that offer information within the field of computer science. It indexes academic resources through autonomous citation indexing system. This academic database is particularly helpful for students seeking information on computer and information sciences. It offers many other exclusive features to facilitate the students with the research process that include: ACI – Autonomous Citation Indexing, reference linking, citation statistics, automatic metadata extraction and related documents. Founded in 1998, it is the first online academic database and has since evolved into a more dynamic and user-friendly academic search engine.
  3. GetCITED ( GetCITED is another powerful tool for searching scientific information. It is an online academic database that indexes academic journals and citations. It is a one-stop platform that offers everything related to academic publications such as chapters, conference papers, reports and presentations. You can even browse through the bibliographies to search related details. Furthermore, you can find information on any author and his published works. The two ‘most outstanding’ features of this academic search engine tool include: ‘a comprehensive database’ and ‘discussion forum’. It allows every member from academia to contribute in its database resources. It has over 3,000,000 written by more than 3,00,000 authors.
  4. Microsoft Academic Research ( Microsoft academic research is yet another top search engine for academic resources. Developed by Microsoft Research, it has more than 48 millions publications written by over 20 millions authors. It indexes range of scientific journals from computer science and engineering to social science and biology. It has brought in many new ways to search academic resources, such as papers, authors, conferences and journals. This academic search engine allows you to search information based on authors or domains.
  5. Bioline International ( Bioline is among the most trusted and authentic search engines that has peer-reviewed academic journals on public health, food and nutritional security, food and medicine and biodiversity. It provides free access to peer-reviewed journals from third world countries. It promotes exchange of ideas through academic resources. Founded in 1993, it has 70 journals across 15 countries that offer information on subjects like crop science, biodiversity, public health and international development.
  6. Directory of Open Access Journals ( Director of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is yet another free search engine for scientific and scholarly resources. The directory offers a huge range of topics within scientific areas of study. It is among the richest sources of scholarly database with over 8,000 journals available on different topics. All the journals are thoroughly peer-reviewed.
  7. PLOS ONE ( Founded in 2006, PLOSE ONE provides a free access platform to everyone searching for science-related information. All the articles publish on PLOS ONE are published after going through a strict peer-reviewed process. This academic database has a meticulous procedure for publishing a journal. You can find plenty of articles and academic publications using this platform.
  8. BioOne ( An excellent search engine for scientific information, BioOne contains academic resources for biological, environmental and ecological sciences. Established in 2000, it started as an NGO and later became an online academic journal directory. The journal gives free access to over 25000 institutions all over the world.
  9. Science and Technology of Advanced Materials ( First published in 2000, the science and technology of advanced materials became online in 2008. This peer-reviewed academic journal offers free access to academic journals on major areas of science and technology. The academic directory is totally free of cost and provides easy and simple access to plethora of information covering scientific subject-matters.
  10. New Journal of Physics ( New Journal of Physics is an online scientific search engine that has academic databases with physics as core subject. Founded in 1998, it is co-founded by the Institute Of Physics and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. The search engine offers academic journals on diversified topics with physics as central theme.
  11. ScienceDirect ( “A leading full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters from more than 2,500 journals and almost 20,000 books.”

The above mentioned academic database and directories are among the most trusted search engines for scientific research. They offer information on possibly all the major areas of science including computer and technology, biology, environmental science and social sciences, and other areas of academic research.

*Image courtesy of



Katie is an education technology writer, currently serving herself as a Manager of Academic Quality at Assignmentlabs. She has a combined working experience as an academic consultant and research writer. In addition to managing her current projects, she also dabbles in scientific research, education tech, social media & digital trends as well.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly Walsh November 5, 2016 at 8:03 am

Hi Robert –
Some of the above sources might be helpful. Here’s another one I found through a search – not sure if it might be of any use: Biology – Research Guides at Washington University Libraries: I suggest doing a Google Search using phrases like “plant molecular research search tools” and browsing your result.
Best of luck with your work!

Robert October 20, 2016 at 1:03 am

Hello Kelly,
I am a research scholar and I am currently working on different aspects of plant molecular biology and ethnotradition also. Can you suggest me some good search resources in these fields!!

John James September 27, 2016 at 6:42 pm

There are some really good search engines out there, but when it comes to overall scientific and research purposes I would suggest using GoPit Search Engine. They break everything down by categories, making it easy for research purposes.

Alexandar Vincent September 24, 2016 at 1:52 am

Biohunter is a scientific tool for researchers and scientists. It is a web-based, single portal which provides literature search, data statistics, reading, sorting, storing, field expert identification and journal finder for your innovative research.

Vijay Parwani May 26, 2016 at 1:44 am

In BASE two different search surfaces are available: a basic search providing a single search field (search in all parts of a document by default) and an advanced search with multiple search fields and more sophisticated search options. In the basic search you get search suggestions after typing at least 3 letters. By selecting a search suggestion you can apply it to the search field.

You can search the metadata of all indexed documents. Due to time and performance constraints we are indexing only metadata of documents. Thus it’s not possible to search the full text of the indexed documents. You should start with a general search and enter 2-3 search terms. BASE provides several options to improve and refine the retrieved search result. About 70% of the indexed documents in BASE are open access, the rest are mere metadata entries without full text or can only be accessed, if you are authorized for accessing this data source.

Scigine Biology Methods May 17, 2016 at 12:15 am

Scigine: Biology and Biochemistry Methods Search Engine is also an amazing resource for those who are searching for methods to try out in lab.

Julio Lopez Alvarado April 23, 2016 at 4:49 am

If you are planning to start a new academic scholarly journal, or you are already running your online journal, you should seriously consider to have your online journal hosted on a OJS (Online Journal Systems) site. You may of course set up your online journal in a free site. Many journals start that way. However, sooner or later you will want your journal to be indexed, and you will submit your journal to indexing sites. You will soon learn that in order to be indexed, your journal must comply with OAI-PMH protocols and Dublin Core and other Metadata formats. Programmimg all of these requirements in a free site would be difficult, requiring the services of expert programmers. At the end, it would be awkward and expensive. 

As an alternative, there are a number of hosting sites offering you to host your online journal using OJS software. Most of them are expensive, and offer you limited web space.

Our onlinejournal hosting solution: 

For a monthly fee of GB £ 15.00 (approx. 21 US$) we will

– Set up a professional online journal ready to go, with unlimited web space and unlimited web bandwidth

– Support you for initial training with training materials and online help

– Price guarantee: we will keep this price frozen when you become our customer, and will not increase this price in the future, even if we raise the price of this product for new customers.

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Peter January 8, 2016 at 8:44 am

Another one: It is quite helpful searching resources for quantitative science. Maybe you can consider adding it to your post.

prakash deo January 7, 2016 at 7:41 am

Excellent material, Nice efforts.
Prakash Deo, Bhopal, India

anonymous January 3, 2016 at 4:40 pm

What about Sci-Search.

Kelly Walsh October 16, 2015 at 9:41 am

Thanks James, 21st Century Schools, and Ashish for sharing these tools!

James Lee October 16, 2015 at 8:32 am is a helpful search engine, especially in science and technology, such as , .

21st Century Schools June 29, 2015 at 10:27 am

Here is another resource that I have found very useful to me in doing citations and referencing

Ashish Sethiya May 26, 2015 at 5:33 am

Hello Katie,
Nice list of scientific and academic research search engines. It will really help out who want to publish or get any reference from these sites. In my opinion International Journal Of Advanced Computer Technology IJACT (Compusoft) can also be a good option to add to the existing list. Here is the Website Url :-

Kelly Walsh December 22, 2014 at 9:01 am

Thanks Rick – looks like a great addition to this list. I agree it would be nice to build on this list, particularly many seek out and value these types of search resources – this post has been in the site’s top ten for traffic post since it was published!

Rick December 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm

So…what’s wrong with Arxiv?

I’m sure there’s other that you’ve missed, as these seemed pretty surface level. Then again, in DBs, size certainly Does matter 😉

I suppose the next level from Trusted is Valuable, then from Valuable to Comprehensive, then from Comprehensive to Extensive, and from there it devolves into essentially wikia pages doesn’t it?

It would be nice if your page here actually got endorsed either officially or unofficially on School websites, as then there could be some discussion about amending the list from 11 to 21 to 51 and so on, possibly organized by type :)

Johny Pea December 4, 2014 at 7:02 am is also very usefull

Dominick May 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm

This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
Finally I’ve found something which helped me. Many thanks!

BSK December 5, 2013 at 7:37 am is also a very useful search engine for scientific and academic research !

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