9 Great Google Alternatives for Academics and Student Researchers

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June 2, 2014
While Google remains a robust search engine with great capabilities and potential for us in education and academia, sometimes it seems more plausible to use specific and topic-based search engines to look for better search results. In the world of academia where  journal articles and research papers are the mainstay of learning and academic production, it becomes even more pressing to have a handy list of specifically designed search engines to easily search for and access journal articles and academic periodicals and papers. In this regard, I compiled a list of some of the best academic search engines that you can use for this purpose.

1- Academia.edu

This is one of my favourite search engines for academic papers. Academia.edu  is a place to share and follow research. You can use it to search for papers submitted by other scholars or you can share your own papers. Academia.edu is also a community of academic researchers where you can create your profile and follow others who share similar research interests.

2- Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

 Related : 9 Tips Every Teacher Should Know about Google Scholar


JURN is another wonderful search engine to use to search for millions of free academic articles, chapters, and theses across multiple disciplines ( Arts, History, Humanities, Business, Economics, Ecology, Science and more). JURN is also a directory of over 3000 free arts and humanities journals that you can easily search from one single platform.

4- RefSeek

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

5- HighBeam

HighBeam Research is a premium information service built for students, instructors, researchers, professionals, and others looking to gain deep knowledge on subjects of interest. HighBeam provides access to thousands of credible, professional, published sources

6- Springer

Springer is a powerful academic platform that provides researchers with access to millions of scientific documents from a wide variety of journals, books, series, protocols and reference works.


BASE is a voluminous search engine especially for academic open access web resources. BASE is operated by Bielefeld University Library. As a search engine, BASE facilitates effective and targeted searches and retrieves high quality, academically relevant results.The sources which are included in BASE are intellectually selected and reviewed.

8- List of academic databases and search engines

This page contains a representative list of major databases and search engines useful in an academic setting for finding and accessing articles in academic journals, repositories, archives, or other collections of scientific and other articles.


The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) is another great search engine that academics can use to search for scientific papers.You can use ERIC to search for peer reviewed papers or use its advanced search tips to refine your search and target specific journals and papers.