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See also Discovery Tools vs. Google | Google scholar | Information technology topics | PubMed Alternative Interfaces | Open access | Research Portal for Academic Librarians
Open search tools can be defined as search engines that are free to use and openly-accessible on the web. There are a number of ways the open web can be searched for academic literature: 1) Google scholar or Scirus 2) proprietary databases such as EBSCO and OvidSP and 3) freely-searchable databases such as those below. Is there one all-purpose search engine to search all freely-available literature? No, not on the open web or in a subscription-based database. Needless to say, this causes a major problem in cumulating the scholarly literature.
How do academic librarians plan to deal with this problem?
4 stars denotes Top Ten (10) Repositories of information. Starred sites are great places to begin your research.
Sixty (60+) Open Search Tools
Get at the grey literature in the deep web
- ACM Digital Library - Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) provides the computing field's premier digital library
- Archive of European Integration (AEI) - archive for research materials on the topic of European integration and unification
- AgEcon - distributes reports of research in agricultural economics
- Agricola - agriculture and allied disciplines
- Analytical Sciences Digital Library (ASDL) - peer-reviewed web-based discovery materials in the analytical sciences
- Arctic Health (NLM) - links to full-text journal articles, reports, newspapers, conference proceedings, grey literature
- arXiv - physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology and statistics
- Astrophysics Data System (ADS) - 8.6 million records in astronomy and astrophysics, physics
- BASE - Bielefeld Academic Search Engine - search engine for academic open access web resources
- Canadian Association of Research Libraries / Association des bibliothèques de recherche Open Archives Metadata Harvester
- Canadian Nursing Index - most comprehensive web guide to Canadian nursing resources
- Canary Database @ Yale - Animals as Sentinels of Human Environmental Health Hazards
- ChemXSeer http://chemxseer.ist.psu.edu/ - environmental chemistry
- Circumpolar Health Bibliographic Database
- CiteBase - currently only an experimental demonstration
- CiteSeerX - computer and information science
- ClinicalTrials.gov - clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world
- CogPrints - self-archived papers in psychology, neuroscience, linguistics and computer science
- Directory of open access journals - DOAJ
- Discover Ed @ Creative Commons
- Drug Industry Document Archive (DIDA)
- E-LIS - preprints, postprints and other documents in library and information science
- Entrez - Life sciences search engine - meta-search tool
- ERIC Education Search - education research
- FUSE — a business research engine - 728 open-access business ejournals, and open research texts
- Google Book Search
- Google scholar - largest open tool searching across academic disciplines
- GoPubMed - knowledge-based search engine for biomedical texts
- HighWire Press - Largest Repository of Free Full-Text Life Science Articles in the World
- IngentaConnect - a range of items across academic disciplines
- JURN - curated academic search-engine, indexing 3,674 free ejournals in the arts & humanities
- LactMed - peer-reviewed database of drugs to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed
- Lalisio literature (Q-Sensei) - arXiv, PubMedCentral & IngentaConnect
- LibSearch - federated search engine harvesting 146 digital libraries & providing access to 1996105 documents
- Mendeley - social bibliography tool that can be used to search for papers
- Native Health Database - HSLIC Native American Health Information Services
- OAIster - OCLC via WorldCat.org - open access and institutional repository meta-search tool
- OpenGrey Repository - http://www.opengrey.eu/
- OpenJGate - 7742 Open Access Journals (4635 Peer-Reviewed)
- OpenSIGLE - reports and grey literature (GL) produced in Europe until 2005
- OpenThesis.org - free repository of theses, dissertations, and other academic documents
- Organic Eprints - papers related to research in organic agriculture
- PhilPapers - directory of philosophy articles and books by academics
- Policy Archive - digital archive of global, non-partisan public policy research
- POPLINE - reproductive health literature 1970-present (selected citations back to 1886)
- Project Gutenberg - e-books in the public domain
- PubMed - biomedicine and allied fields
- PubMedCentral - open access repository in biomedicine
- PubMedCentral Canada
- RePEc: Research Papers in Economics RePEC - collaborative effort to enhance dissemination of research in economics
- Science Commons - data trapped, locked up by contracts or lost in databases is meant to be in the 'science commons'
- ScienceDirect - 10 million+ articles across science and humanities
- Scirus - science, Elsevier content, PubMed
- Scitopia - science-technology, plus patents and government data
- Scopus - 435 million scientific web pages; 23 million patents
- SumSearch - evidence-based meta-search tool, U.S.
- Scienceroll Search - a personalized medical metasearch engine
- Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
- Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) Database - 650,000 records of published research
- TRIP Database - evidence-based meta-search tool, U.K. content
- WolframAlpha - Computational Knowledge Engine - trillions of pieces of curated data and millions of lines of algorithms #WorldCat - network of library content, acting as a search tool and index to articles and monographs in libraries worldwide
- Yovisto Video - access to academic video by providing granular, time-dependent metadata
Open access journal sites
"Open access to open search in medicine? tools, issues and possible solutions"
- open search gets to the idea of being able to search academic literature without barriers
- naturally, there are many 'shades' of open ...(see shades of Open Access)
- even the least open content locked in the deep web may be findable using open search tools
- see related shades of Grey literature
- metaphors: open sesame; key unlocking door; freedom; liberation; entry
- findability is a problem in a web universe of one-trillion pages, searchable by keyword-only
- metaphors: fragmentation; million little pieces; everything is miscellaneous
- search is defining activity of web; search is not comparable to find
How will health librarians find materials on the web in the future? In the excitement of open access to research materials in biomedicine - due to open access journals, for example - health librarians should devote some intellectual energy to examining how articles will be found in the evolving scholarly search space. Do we plan to rely on Google scholar? Will commercial databases like OvidSP and EBSCO offer federated or meta-search options to search beyond their silos? How will we locate scholarly materials in institutional repositories worldwide? Will we expect users to engage in repetitive searching to find these materials? There has been some early discourse around the principles of web 3.0, and its role in improving findability in this uncertain OA universe - what kind of potential does the semantic web offer to academic librarians? Perhaps some as-of-yet unannounced academic search tool is in development at Yahoo to compete against Google scholar?
When first released in late 2004, Google scholar caused a stir in academic circles as the first open search tool dedicated to searching the web's scholarly literature. The idea was so appealing, in fact, that the software giant Microsoft launched its own competitor a few short years later, in 2006, called Windows Live Academic Search. Academic search never caught on with the same excitement or approval of the Google brand despite offering a useful functional option for searchers. By 2008, due to less than stellar performance, Microsoft announced it would retire Academic Search, opting out of its book digitization project as well. For its part, GS has remained sui generis in the academic search space. Its primary impact seems to reside in its simple interface, cited by searching and offering access to content that might otherwise not be found. Some critics charge that Scholar has not improved much since its launch in 2004, and web statistics suggest its popularity may be dropping off with time. For many searchers, even in academia, Mother Google - with its ease-of-use, unprecedented reputation and speed - is a worthy alternative. However, for many librarians and scholars, GS is indispensable for finding grey literature and Open Access material.
What is needed for open search in medicine?