I’ve been a user of computers and the internet for long enough to remember the first browser war. It used to be that I’d regularly use multiple search engines in order to ensure that I got the best* results. My defaults would be Yahoo, AltaVista, and Kvasir, but others were certainly in the mix, too. Over time, however, most of these were replaced by Google. As a student, my exprience was that Google usually provided “more or less close enough”, rather than “exactly what I need”, and as your search gets more specialized, Googles results tend to get less useful.
* By “better” or “best”, I mean in terms of accuracy of the results provided.
Academic pursuits are just one example are. As a native Norwegian speaker, I have also found Google to be less than ideal the more obscure the knowledge I am looking for is. Here are some other sites that I have found to be helpful as Google becomes increasingly less so:
- Refseek is what Google Scholar tries – and in my experience fails – to be; a good search engine to find academic information.
- Springer Link
- Springer Link, too, is a great resource for searching scientific articles, journals, books etc.
- WorldCat lets you search the collections of thousands of libraries around the world, in order to find a copy of that book that you absolutely need to get your hands on.
- Bioline is a more specialized search engine, allowing you access to research journals published in developing countries in the field of bioscience.
- Research Papers in Economics
- Another more specialized search engine, RePEc lets you search in research in economics and related areas.
- An inter-agency initiative from thirteen US Government agencies, Science.gov offers access to R&D results and more from these agencies.
- PDF Drive
- A huge repository of more than eighty million eBooks and PDF files, all free for download.
- Bielefeld Academic Search Engine
- BASE is another academic search engine, indexing metadata from journals, institutional repositories etc.
There are many, many more out there, but I and others have found all of these ones to be useful.