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Search Engines for Academic Use: Specialist Search Engines

Get the best out of Google Scholar and its range of features.

BASE - Bielefeld Academic Search Engine

A global resource that sources high quality content from around 2,500 open access repositories. Research outputs include journal, conference and working papers, patents & theses. 

Useful features include:

  • Deep searching of full-text documents
  • 80% available as full-text
  • Useful Refine Search Results features including by Document Type and Content Provider
  • Save to Endnote etc.
  • Use of RSS feeds to receive updates on a topic

Worldcat: the World's Largest Library Catalogue

Useful features include:

  • Search for / refine results by wide variety of formats, e.g. books, e-books, articles, images, videos
  • Generate a formatted citation (APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, Turabian)
  • Export citations to Endnote, etc.
  • Check in a library near you

Zanran for Data and Statistics

Zanran is "Your source for data & statistics - graphs, charts and tables." Like Google for numeric data. Free registration to download graphs etc.

WolframAlpha Computational Search Engine

Wolfram|Alpha introduces a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers — not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of built-in data, algorithms, and methods.

Microsoft Academic (Preview)

Useful features include:

  • Inclusion of a wide variety of format types
  • Can search  the history of billions of pages on the Internet using its Wayback Machine
  • Wide variety of download options
  • Can embed links in own webpage e.g. Wordpress blog


  • No full-text search; metadata only