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Searching for articles

Academic Search Engines

Using an academic search engine is a convenient way to search across many databases and journals at once, and while academic search engines sometimes link directly to full-texts, you will often need to find an article using EZB or DBIS once you have the citation.

Advantage: The ability to search thousands of journals at once.

Disadvantage: Doesn't always offer full-text of citations.

Google Scholar

Strengths and Weaknesses of Google Scholar

Google Scholar Strengths

Google Scholar Weaknesses
  • Getting the “big picture” of the scholarly discourse around a topic.
  • Viewing books, articles, conference proceedings, and more in one list.
  • Determining authors and publications in an area of interest.
  • Tracking down incomplete citations.
  • Limiting and sorting results by type (eg. peer reviewed articles, full-text, reviews).
  • Searching within a specific discipline
  • Browsing by journal title.
  • Doing a comprehensive search for a literature review.
  • Using controlled vocabulary to search by subject.
  • Emailing lists of search results.

Table 1. Google Strengths & Weaknesses, from NYU Libraries. Advanced Google Searching: Google ScholarNYU Libraries. New York University. 29 Nov 2017.<>.

Microsoft Academic

Microsoft Academic was a free public web search engine for academic publications and literature, developed by Microsoft Research. It profiled authors, organizations, keywords, and journals. The search engine indexed over 260 million publications, 88 million of which are journal articles.1


BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) is a multi-disciplinary search engine to scholarly internet resources, created by Bielefeld University Library in Bielefeld, Germany. As of 2022, it had indexed over 280 million documents from over 9000 sources.1


CORE (COnnecting REpositories) is a service provided by the Knowledge Media Institute [Wikidata] based at The Open University, United Kingdom.1


Another option is to search for your topic directly in a database. The advantage of this is that you don't need to search for the full-text after finding an article that's relevant. On the other hand, you may need to perform that same search in several databases.

BI-accessible databases are indexed in DBIS.

Advantage: Full-text is immediately available to view / download.

Disadvantage: Only searches the journals available in the database being searched.

Discovery Systems

Discovery systems try to combine the two search methods described above by searching across many databases at once AND providing full-text access. Barbaros Library provides a discovery system that can be used to search most of their collections at once. Click here for more information.

Advantage: Searches many databases at once and provides access to full-text.

Disadvantage: Only searches the collections of one institution and cannot be integrated with all databases.

1 Source: Wikipedia