This resource contains a representative list of notable databases and search engines useful in an academic setting for finding and accessing articles in academic journals, institutional repositories, archives, or other collections of scientific and other articles. In terms of coverage and retrieval quality, databases and search engines are vastly different. Users, especially those searching for records systematically, such as in systematic reviews or meta-analyses, must consider the qualities and constraints of these databases and search engines.
Some of the disciplines covered in this list include aerospace, sociology, agriculture, chemistry, arts, humanities, religious studies, military science, engineering, medicine just to name a few. There are a total of 127 databases and search engines in which 57 are free, 26 are both free / subscription based with the balance 44 being fully subscription based. Happy researching!
- AGRIS: Agricultural database (Agriculture) – Free
Covers agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, aquatic sciences and fisheries, human nutrition, extension literature from over 100 countries. Indexes unpublished scientific and technical reports, theses, conference papers, government publications.
- Analytical Sciences Digital Library (ASDL) 1 (Analytical chemistry) – Free
A collection of peer-reviewed electronic resources on chemical measurements and instrumentation
- Arachne (Archaeology, Art history) – Free
2.4 million digital images from archive material, 1 million of books, 40,000 high quality scans of ancient sculptures, 300 volumes of ancient books with more than 60,000 pages
- ArchiveGrid (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Directory of archival materials from American and international institutions, including over five million records
- AMiner (Computer Science) – Free
Online service used to index and search academic social networks
- Astrophysics Data System (Astrophysics, Geophysics, Physics) – Free
Publications in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics, and the arXiv e-prints
- AULIMP: Air University Library’s Index to Military Periodicals (Military Science) – Free
The articles, news items, book reviews and editorials from 63 English language military and aeronautical periodicals
- BASE: Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Metadata for 260 million documents from more than 8,000 content providers
- CHBD: Circumpolar Health Bibliographic Database (Medicine) – Free
Contains records describing publications about all aspects of human health in the circumpolar region
- CiteSeerX (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Replaced CiteSeer, and ChemXSeer. Mainly Computer science, Statistics, Mathematics.
- Civil engineering database (Civil engineering) – Free
A bibliographic database covering all of ASCE’s publications since 1872
- COnnecting REpositories (CORE) (Multidisciplinary) – Free
A full text aggregator of all open access papers from repositories (institutional, subject, preprints, etc.) and journals. Around 20 million monthly active users.
- Crossref (Multidisciplinary) – Free
An official Digital Object Identifier (DOI) Registration Agency of the International DOI Foundation. Metadata about publications, datasets, grants, preprints from 17,633 members (journals, publishers, etc.)
- Directory of Open Access Journals (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Articles from 15,000 open access journals (Dec 2020)
- DBLP (Computer science) – Free
Comprehensive list of papers from major computer science conferences and journals
- EconBiz (Economics) – Free
Covers journals, working papers & conferences in business studies and economics
- Europe PMC (Biomedical) – Free
Abstracts & full text (6.5 million) biomedical and life sciences articles (Dec 2020). Includes text mining tools and links to external molecular and medical data sets.
- Google Scholar (Multidisciplinary) – Free
The biggest academic database & search engine (over 390 million records, unofficial estimate)
- HAL (Multidisciplinary) – Free
An open-access database for French researchers. Organized into institution and domain portals.
- Index Copernicus (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Contains over 2,500 journals (including 700 journals from Poland).
- Information Bridge: Department of Energy Scientific and Technical Information (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Provides free public access to over 266,000 full-text documents and bibliographic citations of Department of Energy (DOE) research report literature. Documents are primarily from 1991 forward.
- IARP (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Open-access knowledge management system incorporating grants, publications, conferences in natural and social & behavioral sciences
- INSPIRE-HEP (Physics (High Energy)) – Free
An open access digital library for the field of high energy physics (HEP) (operates since the 1970s)
- International Nuclear Information System (INIS) (Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Energy, Medical Physics) – Free
A leading bibliographic and grey literature repository covering all areas of nuclear science and technology.
- Internet Archive Scholar (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Focus on fulltext search of open access journals and conference proceedings
- Jurn (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Index property and open access journals in the arts, humanities, ecology, science, biomedical, business and economics.
- Lingbuzz (Linguistics) – Free
A free archive of linguistics articles, with a focus on syntax, semantics, phonology and morphology
- Logeion (Classical Studies) – Free
An open-access database of Latin and Ancient Greek dictionaries
- MEDLINE (Medicine, Healthcare) – Free
Easy-to-use interface to search and retrieve citations and abstracts from 5,200 journals via MeSH vocabulary
- Microsoft Academic (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Covers publications from over 49,000 journals
- MyScienceWork (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Database includes more than 90 million scientific publications and 12 million patents.
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service (Criminology, Sociology) – Free
Abstracts of scholarly journal articles, agency and NGO reports, audiovisual products, and conference proceedings.
- National Diet Library Collection (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Japanese. Catalog for the National Library of Japan.
- OAIster (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Covers records contributed by over 1,500 organizations
- OpenGray (Grey literature) – Free
Indexes European grey literature
- ORCID (Multidisciplinary) – Free
An open and independent registry for contributor identification in research and academic publishing. List: biography, education, employment, works, grants, peer-review. Over 9.3 million profiles.
- Paperity (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Aggregator of open access journals and papers (>15,000 journals)
- PhilPapers (Philosophy) – Free
Index journals, books, open access archives, and personal pages maintained by academics
- PubMed (Biomedical, life sciences) – Free
A database primarily of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. Includes MEDLINE, PubMed Central, and Bookshelf.
- PubMed Central (PMC) (Biomedical, life sciences) – Free
Free full-text archive of publications and preprints
- Publons (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Service for academics to track their peer review and editorial contributions for academic journals. Merged with ResearcherID
- PubPsych (Psychology) – Free
Datasets and offers, where available, full-text linking, links to additional information and link resolving
- RePEc: Research Papers in Economics (Economics) – Free
Working papers, journal articles, books, books chapters and software components (including 1.2 million full-text articles)
- ResearchGate (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Commercial social networking site for scientists and researchers. Over 19 million registered users that share their articles, datasets and other research output.
- Russian Science Citation Index (Multidisciplinary) – Free
A bibliographic database of scientific publications in Russian
- SafetyLit (Multidisciplinary) – Free
35 distinct professional disciplines (architecture – zoology) relevant to preventing unintentional injuries, violence, and self-harm
- SciELO (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Database and a model for cooperative electronic publishing in developing countries (mostly South America and Africa). Indexes >1700 journals.
- Science.gov (Multidisciplinary) – Free
A gateway to government science information and research results from over 60 databases, over 2,200 websites, and over 200 million pages.
- ScienceOpen (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Natural and physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Incorporates arXiv, PubMed, and SciELO. Integrated with ORCID Altmetric uids. Articles from >25,000 journals.
- Scientific Information Database (SID) (Engineering & Technology, Medical Science, Basic Science, Human Sciences) – Free
An Iranian index of academic journals and access to full text or metadata
- SCIndeks – Serbian Citation Index (Multidisciplinary) – Free
A bibliographic database, a national citation index, an Open Access full-text journal repository and an electronic publishing platform. Articles from >230 journals.
- Semantic Scholar (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Mostly computer science and biomedical publications. Powered by semantic analysis.
- SNAC (Social Networks and Archival Contexts) (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Directory of archival materials grouped by subject entity
- Unpaywall (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Harvest Open Access content from over 50,000 publishers and repositories
- VET-Bib (Social Science, Education) – Free
European vocational education and training (VET) literature
- Zentralblatt MATH (Mathematics) – Free
Mainly reviews and abstracts.
- DiVA (open archive) (Multidisciplinary) – Free
Mainly used by Swedish universities and research institutions.
- African Journals OnLine (AJOL) (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Scholarly journals published in Africa
- AGRICOLA: Agricultural Online Access (Agriculture) – Free & Subscription
Provides public access to information on agriculture and allied fields (17th century – present)
- Anthropological Index Online (Anthropology) – Free & Subscription
Indexes only (no abstracts or full-text) the anthropology journals received by The Anthropology Library at The British Museum
- Anthropological Literature (Anthropology, Archaeology) – Free & Subscription
An index of journals primarily from Tozzer Library, as well as other open-access journals (660 journals with more than 670,000 articles)
- ASCE Library (Civil Engineering) – Free & Subscription
All civil engineering disciplines including structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, construction engineering, environmental engineering, engineering mechanics, sustainability, water resources, irrigation. hydraulics, hydrology, waterways, urban planning, cold regions …
- BioOne (Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science) – Free & Subscription
Full-text from >180 scientific journals in Biodiversity Conservation, Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Entomology, Ornithology, Plant Science, and Zoology.
- CiNii (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Database of articles in the Japanese language from 3600 journals
- DeepDyve (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Commercial website that sells access to scientific and scholarly articles from a large range of academic publishers (over 1700 journals). Limited free access.
- Dimensions (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Publications, books and book chapters, preprints and conference proceedings (linked to data sets, funding, publications, patents, clinical trials, and policy documents). Based on CrossRef. Contains citation-based indicators and Altmetric attention scores.
- ERIC: Educational Resource Information Center (Education) – Free & Subscription
Education literature and resources dating back to 1966.
- IngentaConnect (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Covers articles from 13,000 journals
- International Directory of Philosophy (Philosophy) – Free & Subscription
Contains information on university philosophy departments and programs, philosophical societies, research centers, journals, and philosophy publishers in the U.S., Canada, and approximately 130 other countries.
- J-Gate (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
J-Gate is an electronic gateway to global e-journal literature (articles from 58,000 journals)
- JournalSeek (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Catalogues over 39,000 journals’ information (the description, aims, scope, journal abbreviation, journal homepage link, subject category and ISSN).
- JSTOR: Journal Storage (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines (1870–present)
- The Lens (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Serves global patent and scholarly knowledge as a public good to inform science and technology enabled problem solving.
- Mendeley (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Crowdsourced database of research documents. Over 100M documents uploaded by the researchers plus data from repositories (e.g. PubMed and arXiv)
- Philosophy Documentation Center eCollection (Applied ethics, Philosophy, Religious studies) – Free & Subscription
Journals, series, conference proceedings, and other works from several countries online
- POIESIS: Philosophy Online Serials (Philosophy, applied ethics, religious studies) – Free & Subscription
Journals and series, online access for institutions with print
- Rock’s Backpages (Music) – Free & Subscription
Primary documents from the history of rock and roll. Articles, including interviews, features and reviews, which covered popular music from blues and soul
- Socolar (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Scholarly open access resources in different language (mainly Chinese)
- SSRN: Social Science Research Network (Social science) – Free & Subscription
Research papers from more than 55 disciplines
- SpringerLink (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Journals, books, series, protocols, reference works and proceedings
- WorldCat (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Unified catalog of member libraries’ catalogs
- WorldWideScience (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
A union catalog that itemizes the collections of 17,900 libraries in 123 countries
- Zasshi Kiji Sakuin: Japanese Periodicals Index (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
Scholarly articles in Japanese
- Academic Search (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
Several versions: Complete, Elite, Premier, and Alumni Edition
- AgeLine (Sociology, Gerontology) – Subscription
Includes information on aging-related topics, including economics, public health and policy
- Airiti (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
Chinese e-content provider of Chinese academic e-journals, Taiwanese academic e-journals, classical art images
- Analytical Abstracts (Chemistry) – Subscription
Selection of analytical chemistry articles published by the Royal Society of Chemistry (around 100 journals)
- Arts & Humanities Citation Index (Arts, Humanities) – Subscription
Part of Web of Science. 1,800 journals across 28 arts & humanities disciplines. Records back from 1975 to present.
- Association for Computing Machinery Digital Library (Computer Science, Engineering) – Subscription
Collection of all ACM publications, including journals, conference proceedings, technical magazines, newsletters and books
- ATLA Religion Database (Religious studies) – Subscription
Provides information on topics such as biblical studies, world religions, church history, and religion in social issues
- Bibliographie de civilisation médiévale (Medieval studies) – Subscription
A bibliography of monographs on the Middle Ages. As of 2018, it contains about 65,000 fully classified bibliographic records.
- Book Review Index Online (Book reviews) – Subscription
Reviews of periodicals and books – including those on tape and electronic media
- Books In Print (Books) – Subscription
Reviews covering over 2.5 million titles
- Chemical Abstracts Service (Chemistry) – Subscription
Approximately 8,000 journals, technical reports, dissertations, conference proceedings, and new books
- Chinese Social Science Citation Index (Social sciences) – Subscription
Covers about 500 Chinese academic journals of humanities and social sciences
- CINAHL: Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (Nursing, Allied Health) – Subscription
Journal articles about nursing, allied health, biomedicine and healthcare. Covers 5,500 journals (English and other language).
- Cochrane Library (Medicine, Healthcare) – Subscription
Includes reviews of research to promote evidence-based healthcare.
- Current Contents (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
Part of Web of Science. Contains 7 discipline-specific subsets.
- EconLit (Economics) – Subscription
Covers articles and other materials dating back to 1969
- Ei Compendex (Engineering) – Subscription
Electronic version of Engineering Index
- EMBASE (Biomedicine, Pharmacology) – Subscription
Biomedical database with a focus on drug and pharmaceutical research. Rrecords from over 8,500 journals (1947–present).
- FSTA – Food Science and Technology Abstracts (Food science, Food technology, Nutrition) – Subscription
The database of information on food science, food technology and nutrition
- GeoRef (Geosciences) – Subscription
Records from 3,500 journals in 40 languages
- IEEE Xplore (Computer Science, Engineering, Electronics) – Subscription
Over 5 million records.
- Informit (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
Australasian aggregator of bibliographic databases and journals
- Indian Citation Index (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
Covers articles from 1100+ journals from India from scientific, technical, medical, and social sciences
- Inspec (Physics, Engineering, Computer Science) – Subscription
Contains records in physics, electrical engineering, electronics, communications, control engineering, information technology, manufacturing, production, and mechanical engineering.
- International Medieval Bibliography (Medieval studies) – Subscription
A multidisciplinary bibliographic database covering Europe, North Africa and the Middle East for the entire period from AD 300 to 1500
- International Philosophical Bibliography (Philosophy) – Subscription
Focus on the history of philosophy and continental philosophy.
- L’Année philologique (Classical studies) – Subscription
Over 860,000 bibliographical entries, including keywords, abstracts, and links to the full text.
- LexisNexis (Law) – Subscription
Electronic database for legal and public-records related information
- Linguamatics (Medicine, Healthcare, Patents) – Subscription
Interface for searching MEDLINE, ClinicalTrials.gov, FDA Drug Labels, PubMed Central, and Patent Abstracts.
- MathSciNet (Mathematics) – Subscription
Records from 650 math journals (early 1800–present)
- Philosophy Research Index (Philosophy) – Subscription
Index of books, journals, disserations, and other documents
- Project MUSE (Humanities, social science) – Subscription
MUSE’s online journal collections are available on a subscription basis to academic, public, special, and school libraries. More than 2,500 libraries worldwide subscribe.
- PsycINFO (Psychology) – Subscription
Focus at behavioral science and mental health. Coverage 1887–present.
- Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature (Literature) – Subscription
Reference guide to articles in >470 periodical magazines and journals, organized by article subject (1890 to present)
- Science Citation Index (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
Part of Web of Science. 24,000+ journals across 254 subject disciplines.
- Science Direct (Science including Medicine) – Subscription
Content from more than 4,000 academic journals and 30,000 e-books
- Scopus (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
Records from over 20,500 titles from over 5,000 international publishers
- SearchTeam (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
Search together collaboratively for scholarly articles and resources
- Social Science Citation Index (Social science) – Subscription
Part of Web of Science
- Sparrho (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
Research articles and patents from 45k+ journals and preprint servers. Uses content recommendation concept.
- Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
Provides serials for periodicals
- Web of Science (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
Includes other products, such as Social Science Citation Index, Science Citation Index, Biological Abstracts & The Zoological Record
- WestLaw (Law) – Subscription
Over 40,000 databases of case law, state and federal statutes, administrative codes, newspaper and magazine articles, public records, law journals, law reviews, treatises, legal forms and other information resources
- The Zoological Record (Zoology) – Subscription
Unofficial register of scientific names & papers in zoology. Coverage 1864–present.