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​​How to Master Academic Search Engines

​​How to Master Academic Search Engines

4-minute read

  • 4th August 2022

Academic search engines provide a simple, convenient method for finding scholarly literature (e.g., articles, books, and theses) across many topics. However, these databases provide access to, quite literally, millions of sources. Therefore, using them effectively is key to streamlining your research process and finding sources that will help you write a great research paper.

We’ve put together our five top tips on mastering academic search engines to help you get started:

1. Briefly summarize your research topic to prepare for your academic search.

2. Identify the keywords that you’ll use to generate focused and relevant search results.

3. Conduct advanced searches to further narrow your results.

4. Build personalized reading lists to keep your sources organized in one place.

5. Track and create your citations to make building your reference list easier.

Read on to look at these tips in more detail or watch the video.

1. Summarize Your Research Topic

Before conducting a search, it’s important to understand the topic and objective of your research in order to find relevant supporting sources. Try summarizing your research topic and/or questions into one or two concise sentences containing the most vital information, and then you’ll be ready for the next step!

2. Identify Your Keywords

Academic search engines work most effectively – and return more results – when you search keywords (i.e., words or short phrases) rather than full sentences. Once you’ve written your summary sentences, highlight the keywords and then put together a list of synonyms and other similar words or phrases that you could use as alternate search terms.

In addition to searching keywords, there are also some helpful hacks regarding the ways in which you search for those terms, such as with the use of Boolean operators :

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●  “AND” indicates that you want the terms on both sides to be included in the sources.

●  “NOT” or the minus sign “-” can be placed in front of terms to exclude sources in which they are used.

●  “OR” will give equal weight to the sources that match the terms on either side.

●  Quote marks (“ ”) will generate only sources that include exact matches to the phrase placed within them.

3. Utilize Advanced Searches

Most academic search engines will have advanced search options, which are helpful to further refine your results. You can restrict your searches to fields such as the source author, title, publication, or date.

Also, if you find sources that are particularly useful, there are often “cited by” and “related articles” links that can lead you to additional relevant sources that may be beneficial to your research.

4. Build Personalized Reading Lists

Locating really great sources during the research process is only half the battle! It’s also equally important to stay organized. Fortunately, many academic search engines also offer tools to help you create personalized reading lists, which you can use to sort your sources by topic or research project.

You can also sign up to receive alerts when new sources become available in particular publications, from your favorite authors, or on any topics of interest!

5. Track and Create Your Citations

Whenever you quote or reference another person’s work in your own writing, it’s crucial to acknowledge those authors using citations . Your personalized reading lists can be a great way to track the sources you want to cite in your work, and many academic search engines allow you to either export those lists into a reference management tool or can generate the citations for you according to your required referencing system (e.g., APA, MLA, or Harvard).

Proofreading and Editing Services

Hopefully, these hacks will help you master academic search engines to find the best sources during your research phase. Once you’ve moved on to compiling your research and presenting it in your essay or article , we have expert editors who can help ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and error-free, and that your references are consistent with your required system. You can upload a free trial document today to learn more!

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Reference management. Clean and simple.

The top list of academic search engines

academic search engines

1. Google Scholar

4. science.gov, 5. semantic scholar, 6. baidu scholar, get the most out of academic search engines, frequently asked questions about academic search engines, related articles.

Academic search engines have become the number one resource to turn to in order to find research papers and other scholarly sources. While classic academic databases like Web of Science and Scopus are locked behind paywalls, Google Scholar and others can be accessed free of charge. In order to help you get your research done fast, we have compiled the top list of free academic search engines.

Google Scholar is the clear number one when it comes to academic search engines. It's the power of Google searches applied to research papers and patents. It not only lets you find research papers for all academic disciplines for free but also often provides links to full-text PDF files.

  • Coverage: approx. 200 million articles
  • Abstracts: only a snippet of the abstract is available
  • Related articles: ✔
  • References: ✔
  • Cited by: ✔
  • Links to full text: ✔
  • Export formats: APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, Vancouver, RIS, BibTeX

Search interface of Google Scholar

BASE is hosted at Bielefeld University in Germany. That is also where its name stems from (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine).

  • Coverage: approx. 136 million articles (contains duplicates)
  • Abstracts: ✔
  • Related articles: ✘
  • References: ✘
  • Cited by: ✘
  • Export formats: RIS, BibTeX

Search interface of Bielefeld Academic Search Engine aka BASE

CORE is an academic search engine dedicated to open-access research papers. For each search result, a link to the full-text PDF or full-text web page is provided.

  • Coverage: approx. 136 million articles
  • Links to full text: ✔ (all articles in CORE are open access)
  • Export formats: BibTeX

Search interface of the CORE academic search engine

Science.gov is a fantastic resource as it bundles and offers free access to search results from more than 15 U.S. federal agencies. There is no need anymore to query all those resources separately!

  • Coverage: approx. 200 million articles and reports
  • Links to full text: ✔ (available for some databases)
  • Export formats: APA, MLA, RIS, BibTeX (available for some databases)

Search interface of Science.gov

Semantic Scholar is the new kid on the block. Its mission is to provide more relevant and impactful search results using AI-powered algorithms that find hidden connections and links between research topics.

  • Coverage: approx. 40 million articles
  • Export formats: APA, MLA, Chicago, BibTeX

Search interface of Semantic Scholar

Although Baidu Scholar's interface is in Chinese, its index contains research papers in English as well as Chinese.

  • Coverage: no detailed statistics available, approx. 100 million articles
  • Abstracts: only snippets of the abstract are available
  • Export formats: APA, MLA, RIS, BibTeX

Search interface of Baidu Scholar

RefSeek searches more than one billion documents from academic and organizational websites. Its clean interface makes it especially easy to use for students and new researchers.

  • Coverage: no detailed statistics available, approx. 1 billion documents
  • Abstracts: only snippets of the article are available
  • Export formats: not available

Search interface of RefSeek

Consider using a reference manager like Paperpile to save, organize, and cite your references. Paperpile integrates with Google Scholar and many popular databases, so you can save references and PDFs directly to your library using the Paperpile buttons:

essay writing on search engine

Google Scholar is an academic search engine, and it is the clear number one when it comes to academic search engines. It's the power of Google searches applied to research papers and patents. It not only let's you find research papers for all academic disciplines for free, but also often provides links to full text PDF file.

Semantic Scholar is a free, AI-powered research tool for scientific literature developed at the Allen Institute for AI. Sematic Scholar was publicly released in 2015 and uses advances in natural language processing to provide summaries for scholarly papers.

BASE , as its name suggest is an academic search engine. It is hosted at Bielefeld University in Germany and that's where it name stems from (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine).

CORE is an academic search engine dedicated to open access research papers. For each search result a link to the full text PDF or full text web page is provided.

Science.gov is a fantastic resource as it bundles and offers free access to search results from more than 15 U.S. federal agencies. There is no need any more to query all those resources separately!

essay writing on search engine

Google Essay for Students and Teacher

500+ words essay on google.

Google is named after the mathematical word “googol,” described as the value represented by one followed by 100 zeros. Google is the leading Internet search engine; its main service provides customers with targeted search outcomes chosen from over 8 billion web pages. Both Stanford dropouts, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, developed Google search technology from a college project. Thus, an insight into Google Essay discusses how Google works and came into existence.


Google is undoubtedly today’s most famous and interesting business in the globe. It’s the mission, according to its corporate website, is to “organize the data of the world and make it widely available and helpful” (Google, 2010).

Google ranked first in the annual “Best companies” of Fortune Magazine, winning other top businesses in 2007 and 2008 for two successive years. His performance as a top employer is due to his inner corporate culture the most quoted reason. Google is the ultimate global company and is defined as a “fast-paced, high-energy working setting” (Google, 2010).

Because Google is focused on its “young” internet-savvy market, its employees ‘ average age is significantly smaller than most businesses. Google’s median age is 30 and the distribution of sex is 65% male and 35% female (Linkedin, 2010).

The dress code is “casual” and laid-back because it values skill and hard work, not appearance. Google has a very engaging culture of the business. Also, Google Mountain View’s headquarters, CA called Googleplex, is intended to have a “campus-like” feel in tune with its predominantly young new recruits at the college level (Google, 2010).

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Google and Rivals

Microsoft and Yahoo both invest strongly in search technology and gain market share on an ongoing basis. 2. With few rivals like Yahoo and MSN, Google operates in an oligopoly sector.

Thus, Google may find it hard to maintain its customers with low differentiation within the consequence of the search engine. Also, Yahoo and MSN launch their own search engines and targeted marketing systems; Google is in a race to create fresh search instruments to attract customers and grow their marketing networks.

Click fraud mentioned by Google as one of the potential “concerns” that may influence its income. In reality, due to click fraud, Google confessed to frequently paying refunds.

In reality, due to click fraud, Google confessed to frequently paying refunds. Click fraud happens when an individual, automated script or computer program imitates a lawful user of a web browser clicking on an advertisement in order to generate an inappropriate charge per click in the online pay-per-click advertisement.

For instance, Network click fraud-you are hosting ads on your own private website from Google AdSense. Google charges you each time you click on your website’s ad. Its fraud if you sit on the desktop constantly clicking on the ad or writing a computer program that clicks on the ad constantly. Such fraud is simple for Google to spot, so smart network click fraudsters simulate distinct IP addresses, or install Trojan horses on pcs from other people to produce fake clicks.

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Extended Essay: Search Engines, Repositories, & Directories

  • Extended Essay- The Basics
  • Step 1. Choose a Subject
  • Step 2. Educate yourself!
  • Using Brainstorming and Mind Maps
  • Identify Keywords
  • Do Background Reading
  • Define Your Topic
  • Conduct Research in a Specific Discipline
  • Step 5. Draft a Research Question
  • Step 6. Create a Timeline
  • Find Articles
  • Find Primary Sources
  • Get Help from Experts
  • Search Engines, Repositories, & Directories
  • Databases and Websites by Subject Area
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  • MLA Works Cited & In-Text Citations
  • Step 9. Set Deadlines for Yourself
  • Step 10. Plan a structure for your essay
  • Evaluate & Select: the CRAAP Test
  • Conducting Secondary Research
  • Conducting Primary Research
  • Formal vs. Informal Writing
  • Presentation Requirements
  • Evaluating Your Work

Power Searching

Google is obviously one of the best known search engines, but are you making full use of all the features Google offers?  Find out more about how Google can be used from these help pages from Google Support:

Five Basic Search Tips from Google Using Search Operators, Punctuation, and Symbols to Get More Specific Search Results Finding Images, Videos, and Text That You Have Permission to Use Filtering Your Results from Web Searches and Image Searches Using Advanced Search When Looking for Websites or Images Understanding the Different Parts of the Google Search Results Page

Try using Advanced Search in Google to improve the relevancy of the results you get:

Advanced Search for Websites Advanced Search for Images

Try these specific searches in Google:

essay writing on search engine

Search Engines

Search engines are programs that search documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found. Web search engines, like Google, Bing and Yahoo!, enable users to search for documents on the Internet.

Typically, web search engines work by sending out a spider to fetch as many documents as possible. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document. Each search engine uses a proprietary algorithm to create its indices such that, ideally, only meaningful results are returned for each query.

essay writing on search engine

Metasearch engines

Meta search engines  are search engine tools that pass queries on to many other search engines and/or directories and then summarize all the results in one handy interface.


Search Directories

A search directory is a website in which links to information are organized by subject, and in alphabetical order, to make it easier for users to find the information they're seeking.

Directory of Open Access Journals

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Essay Samples on Search Engine

Google - the world's most influential search engine.

Google is a search engine. It was found in 1996 by Sergy Brin and Larry Page as they were doing the research project at the university to find the documents on the Internet. After that, they decide to give the name to their search engine,...

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Search Engines and Effective Search Engine Optimization

You have completed your website, it is time to get it listed with the search engines. However, if you accept as true the fact that almost all you ought to do is make a website and individuals will simply visit this, then you certainly would...

Search Engine Optimization: Bringing More Traffic to the Website

There are different approaches that you can use to bring additional traffic to your site. However, search engine optimization is, by far, the ideal approach. In layman's term, search engine optimization is the execution of various plans to delight the search engines, and in exchange,...

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The Web Search Algorithms of the Search Engines

Interesting to each search engine, and similarly as significant as keywords, web crawler calculations are the why and the how of web search tool rankings. Essentially, search engine calculation is a lot of guidelines, or an extraordinary equation, that the web search tool uses to...

The Manipulation of Search Engine Technology in Advertising

Locating the brand also face changes in web search engine marketing which includes spam, fierce competition and fraud click. One of the effective ways of audience acquisition strategy is search engine marketing (SEM), SEM allow firms to advertise their product on search engines (Boughton, 2005)....

  • Advertising

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Best topics on Search Engine

1. Google – the World’s Most Influential Search Engine

2. Search Engines and Effective Search Engine Optimization

3. Search Engine Optimization: Bringing More Traffic to the Website

4. The Web Search Algorithms of the Search Engines

5. The Manipulation of Search Engine Technology in Advertising

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Home / Essay Samples / Information Science and Technology / Computer Science / Search Engine

Search Engine Essay Examples

The use of search engines for scientific researchers and academic works.

The internet plays a very important role in our life today; it has made communication more convenient and made it possible to find information very easily whether it's for an academic or general purpose. Students have specific topics covered in their courses of study or...

Autoregeneration of a Virtual Network from a Captured Traffic

The traffic that is flowing through the network can be captured and not only be utilized for identifying the fault in the network but can also be used to create a virtual network which can play a crucial role in the field of security. The...

Case Study on Patterns of Disruption: Google

G Google, while still producing one of the most used, if not the most used, search engines, now produces a dearth of both software and hardware electronic products (Google 2018, “Our Products). Google is a key player in the technological industry and competes well among...

Why You Need to Plan Seo to Tackle Online Reputation

Have you ever planned to face bitter part of online reputation? If not, you start today. Online Reputation Management is challenge for any organisation, Celebrities, Famous personalities or Individuals. With the easy access of internet and social media sites customer can put your brands on...

Ethical Issues of Search Engines: Protection of Property

The purpose of this paper is to discuss about the ethical issues of search engines on protection of the public property. This paper also explains about the purpose of search engines and how it is used in day to day life along with pros and...

Computer Vision and Its Techniques

Computer Visions had his first start in history around the 1970’s, viewed as: “the visual perception component of an ambitious agenda to mimic human intelligence and to endow robots with intelligent behaviors” – described by R. Szeliski. At that time, the difference between this field...

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