What if Google decides to discontinue Google Scholar?

Since Google discontinued Google reader I have always been wondering; what if they decide to stop with Google Scholar? If you are lucky enough to have access to an university library, you should be fine. But there are also a number of freely available alternatives. Just checking my bookmarks gave me gave me the list below. None of these tools have been able to convince me to abandon Google Scholar (to be completely fair, I haven’t tried them all out extensively), but at least if Google decides to kill of Scholar, I have somewhere else to go:


  • Microsoft Academic Search: It offers some (potentially) nice tools, but I am not convinced about their database / search capacity yet.
  • BASE: A search engines especially for academic open access web resources, operated by Bielefeld University Library. I haven’t really tested it, but it looks interesting.
  • Online JOurnals Search Engine
  • Q-Sensei Scholar: search engine for books and scholarly articles from the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, arXiv, IngentaConnect, and Research Papers in Economics (RePEC).
  • Summon: library search engine by VirginiaTech University.
  • The European library: offers quick and easy access to the collections of 48 National Libraries of Europe and leading European Research Libraries.
  • WorldCat: network of library content and services (not only academic publications)
  • RefSeek: search engine for academic information, including web pages, books, encyclopedias, journals, and newspapers. Seems to focus on students.
  • iSEEK Education: a targeted search engine for students, teachers, administrators, and caregivers

Searching open access journals

  • FreeFullPDF: their aim is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific journals, theses, posters and patents
  • DOAJ, a service that aims to promote and facilitate the use of open access journals.
  • Bioline International: not-for-profit scholarly publishing cooperative committed to providing open access to quality research journals published in developing countries.

Search databases affiliated to publishers

Of course you can always go to the websites of the publishers of scientific journals. Some of the larger publishing houses are listed below:

  • Scirus: A site by Elsevier, which should tell you how to take their claim to be the most comprehensive scientific research tool on the web.
  • Springer Link
  • BiologyBrowser: A product by Thomson Reuters, which offers access to evaluated and curated digital resources for scientific researchers
  • Wiley online library
  • JStore: not a search engine or site of a publisher, but shared digital library which gives access to more than 1,700 academic journals, along with thousands of monographs and other materials relevant for education

There are more academic search engines that focus on specific disciplines. See here for lists with search engines focused on science, history, social sciences and more. Do you know of other good alternative for Google Scholar?


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