Web Search Tools

Academic Search Tools

Google Scholar

Proxied Link (CSE sign-in enables you to connect to full text in other databases)
Open Link (Does not connect to other databases)
  • Google Scholar searches scholarly content on the web, including journal articles, conference papers, technical reports, dissertations, court cases and legal documents.
  • Google does not own or host the content.
  • Full text is not always available or free. If you use the proxied link above, you'll be able to link through to full text when it is available in a subscribed collection. Search for the journal title in Online & Print Journals if no full text options are given.
  • Google Scholar helps you identify prominent articles by listing the number of times each article has been cited (the higher the number, the more important the work).
  • If you use RefWorks to manage and format your citations, you can set Google Scholar to export to RefWorks (Scholar Preferences).

Microsoft Academic Search

Open Link (Does not connect to other CSE databases)
  • Microsoft Academic searches scholarly journal articles, conference papers, reports.
  • Displays the top authors (most publications) and the most popular authors (most read) for each subject covered.
  • Like Google, Microsoft does not own or host the content.
  • Full text is not always available or free. Search for the journal title in Online & Print Journals if no full text options are given.
  • Microsoft Academic helps you identify prominent articles by listing the number of times each article has been cited (the higher the number, the more important the work).
  • If you use RefWorks to manage and format your citations, you can export citations from Microsoft Academic.

Standard Search Engines


Specialized Search Engines

  • Million Short - see underneath the popular top layer of search results
  • Blekko - Focus on quality over quantity. Spam-free and privacy setting. Enables searchers to create slashtag categories to help focus searching.
  • Wolfram Alpha - get factual answers or do calculations, conversions
  • Zanran - find statistical data in charts and graphs
  • Qwant - launched January 2013 with results from 5 sectors: web, news, knowledge graph (basic facts pulled from Wikipedia), social media, shopping
  • Find The Best - aggregates information from review sites and gives a composite score to help you "find the best" option across a range of categories, (e.g. cars, cell plans, dog breeds, day care, hospitals, etc.)
  • Find That File
  • Good Search - each search earns you a penny toward a charity of your choice

Directories (Selected Sites)


Meta Search Engines

 

Keep In Mind:

  1. Not everything is online
  2. No search engine (or database) has everything that is online
  3. Always use more than one search tool
  4. Try different search terms and combinations
  5. Visualize how the information might be phrased in the document you hope to find and let that guide your search terms
  6. Use the limit options available (advanced search screen)
  7. If you know an organization that publishes on your topic, limit your results to that organization's website
  8. Examine more than just the first few results
  9. If you're not familiar with your topic, try a web directory or reference site rather than a web search
  10. Never pay for any content without checking with the library first


Search Tips

Search Strategies: 5 Steps
Which Search Engine When?
Best Search Tools Chart


Set Up Your Browser

Internet Explorer
Firefox
Google Chrome


Compare Search Engines

Blekko - Add /monte to your search.
Blind comparison of Blekko, Google and Bing.

Bing It On - Blind comparison of Bing and Google.

MillionShort It On - Blind comparison of Million Short and Google.


Go Back in Time

WayBack Machine
Type in a URL and view how a site looked at various points in time.

Search Engine History, 1945-today
From pre-web conceptualizations of search to the development of the 1990s, to directories and meta search engines, to search engine optimization and advertising...learn how search has evolved into what you see today.