Ten science search engines

There are several very good science/technology search engines.  These will usually give much more focussed search results than Google.

Scirus searches over 450 million scientific items, and allows researchers to search for not only journal content but also scientists’ homepages, courseware, pre-print server material, patents and institutional repository and website information.

Scitopia.org  Note: “The Scitopia partner societies regret to announce that the Scitopia free federated search portal has been discontinued.”
Scitopia.org is a free federated vertical search service which retrieves content provided by its twenty-one partner scholarly societies (Acoustical Society of America, American Geophysical Union, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Vacuum Society, Audio Engineering Society, The Electrochemical Society, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Institute of Physics Publishing, International Union of Crystallography, Optical Society of America , Professional Engineering Publishing, The Royal Society, Society of Automotive Engineers, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, SPIE, and The Society for Information Display). 

A new version has just been launched. Science.gov is a free, integrated single-search gateway to reliable science and technology information from 17 organizations within 13 federal science agencies.


Science Research
A free search engine allowing access to numerous scientific journals and public science databases.

Searches more than one million documents from scholarly journals, magazines, conference proceedings, and other special publications from prestigious scientific societies and technical publishers.  In addition, through Scitation, members of Heriot-Watt University can access the full text of several journals published by the American Institute of Physics and other learned societies, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Optical Society of America.

WorldWideScience.org is a global science gateway connecting you to national and international scientific databases and portals.

Science Accelerator
Science Accelerator searches science, including R&D results, project descriptions, accomplishments, and more, via resources made available by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), U.S. Department of Energy.

A free service provided by Heriot-Watt University which can help you find articles, books, the best websites, the latest industry news, job announcements, technical reports, technical data, full text eprints, the latest research, thesis & dissertations, teaching and learning resources and more, in engineering, mathematics and computing.

A much more specific search engine.  This one is a search tool that only returns results from websites that have been selected for their optics content

Yes…well…that’s only nine science search engines!  Tell me what you think should be the tenth, in a Comment to this post.

More searchable databases are listed on our Databases and other electronic resources pages.

Roddy MacLeod
Senior Subject Librarian

Leave a comment


  1. What a useful list! Thank you so much for providing it. This list is a real public service.

  2. Impressive list but non of the engines is semantic – a must in our times (IMHO). Allow me to point out GoPubMed.org, a semantic knowledge based search engine for the life sciences. It’s also free and open. GoPubMed goes beyond clustering and uses ontologies as background knowledge. So the wisdom of many brains is used in a wiki-like approach to sort search results according to a scientific “table of content”. Time savings while search of 90 % and more can be archived whilst searching for scientifically correct facts. Could it be one of the 10?

  3. MK

     /  13 February 2009

    10th, should be VADLO.com

  4. Great post, make more ;-)

  5. Roddy MacLeod

     /  29 June 2009

    One of the search engines mentioned above – ScienceResearch.com – has been relaunched. See http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/NewsBreaks/Deep-Web-Tech-Relaunches-ScienceResearchcom-54675.asp for more details.

  6. Excellent resources! If I had to add something, I would mention that patents are an excellent source of technical information, if you can stand to read them (they’re all written in legalese, of course). The downside is that they are generally not published until 18 months after they are submitted, so currency is a problem. Check out Google Patents for a free patent search engine.

    By the way, I work for Intellogist.com, where we offer a Resource Finder tool that contains a massive collection of online scientific and technical databases and resources broken down by subject matter. The tool is available at http://www.intellogist.com/wiki/Resource:Resource_Finder. Thanks for the referral on search.optics.org, we’ll definitely add it in. And thanks for the great post!

  7. Keep the good posts comming:)

  8. Orly

     /  16 August 2009

    IEEEXPLORE – is a useful source for Engineering

  9. We choose our joys and griefs long before we experience them.

  10. We choose our joys and rues long before we experience them.

  11. This is Grate if you search for really specific information. Just need some more filters in some of these (like Scitation)

  12. beth beardslee-romeo

     /  21 March 2010

    i am wondering if any or all of the articles with the amazing information you provide are considered peer reviewed articles?
    I hope so, but will you let me know? I am writing a paper and need one good peer reviewed article..your are full of wonderful information!
    beth beardslee-romeo
    westfield state college, westfield, ma

  13. Beth,

    These are blog posts, and are not peer reveiwed. The content found via the search engines is sometimes peer-reviewed and sometimes not.


  14. Excellent! Thanks!

  15. I can simply say great post .i will recommend them for schools and universities student specially.

  16. The strategies I personally attained in this specific blog is undoubtedly a new evidence that it is now easy to be trained and be notified of fresh informations external to the university campus.

  17. Stef

     /  02 September 2012

    Scitopia.org has discontinuation it’s search services. It would be good to remove them off the overview.

  18. Braindead

     /  18 August 2013

    More science and education links http://koti.mbnet.fi/begenius

  19. scirus are closing!
    We are sad to say goodbye
    Scirus is set to retire in early 2014. An official retirement date will be posted here as soon as it is determined.

    To ensure a smooth transition, we are informing you now so that you have sufficient time to find an alternative search solution for science-specific content.

    Thank you for being a devoted user of Scirus. We have enjoyed serving you.

  1. links for 2008-10-24 | Techno Librarian
  2. Karen Blakeman’s Blog » Blog Archive » RefSeek for “academic information”
  3. Karen Blakeman’s Blog » Blog Archive » Ten science search engines
  4. Science portals: It’s about diversity and hope » Federated Search Blog
  5. Karen Blakeman’s Blog » Blog Archive » Top Search Tips - February 18th, 2009
  6. Numerous improvements to TechXtra, the free technology search service « TechXtra News Blog
  7. Major improvements to TechXtra search service for engineering, maths and computing « spineless?
  8. Ten science search engines – update « spineless?
  9. Happy birthday spineless? « spineless?

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