List of Search engines (databases)

List of search engines i.e. databases

Reference databases

These databases collect information about a wide range of publications from different publishers and countries. They cover mainly journal articles, but also books, conference articles etc.
Access to a full text of an article is not always available right away.

Multidisciplinary reference databases, the most comprehensive information sources:


Web of Science


Examples of queries:



All these databases above cover dozens of millions of records from all fields of science. Their core is the same: all have the most important key publications. The difference is, what else there is available. Try and find your favourite!

Some subject specific databases: they cover the topic more detailed way and usually contain a broader insight into a subject. However, their cross-disciplinary coverage might be limited.

CAB Abstracts (forestry, agriculture, environment)

SciFinder (chemistry)

  • SciFinder is an exceptional search engine compared with others listed at this page: it doesn’t use Boolean operators, but the query is made with natural language sentences. Also chemical formulas and trade names can be used as search terms.
  • Personal username and password is required
  • See more information from SciFinder training

ChemSpider (chemistry)

  • Search is done with names of chemical compounds etc, not with universal topics
  • A free resource

Full-Text databases

Usually, these databases cover journals and articles by one publisher only. The advantage is that you have an immediate access to full texts of articles. The search covers all the text, including the full text. This is useful, when you are looking for a rare topic, which is not mentioned in a title or abstract of an article, but somewhere inside the text.

ScienceDirect (journals of Elsevier only)

SpringerLink (journals of Springer only)

Wiley Online Library (journals of Wiley only)

EbscoHost Academic Search Premier (journals from several publishers, no access to all articles)

IEEE Xplore (articles and proceedings of technical sciences, including remote sensing)

Library databases

UEF Primo