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5 Google Scholar alternatives for university students

Google Scholar alternatives
There are many Google Scholar alternatives that can be handy for university students of different fields of study. Source: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via FP

If you’re in uni, you’re probably familiar with Google Scholar, a search engine that searches scholarly literature and academic resources. If you’re looking to broaden your horizons and explore Google Scholar alternatives, however, there are several strong contenders in the field. Here are a few alternatives worth exploring:

Microsoft Academic

Among the popular Google Scholar alternatives is Microsoft Academic. Its website notes that the platform employs “advances in machine learning, semantic inference and knowledge discovery to help individuals explore scholarly information in more powerful ways than ever before.”

What’s unique about Microsoft Academic is that the platform isn’t limited to just searching for publications. It also provides related information about the most relevant authors, institutions, publication outlets and research areas. 

Microsoft Academic is unlike traditional search engines that rely on keyword-matching. Instead, it is a semantic search engine, which means a successful search is less dependent on the quality of keywords typed in by users.

Educational Resources Information Centre (ERIC)

ERIC is a comprehensive, Internet-based bibliographic and full-text database of education research and information. Just about anyone can benefit from ERIC, be it academics, researchers, educators, policymakers and the general public. 

ERIC is free for public use and is widely used by students, researchers, and faculty members, among others.

google scholar alternatives

University students can find free Google Scholar alternatives online. Source: Mohammed Huwais/AFP

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

DOAJ’s website notes that the platform is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. “All DOAJ services are free of charge including being indexed. All data is freely available,” it said.

You can find over 16,500 peer-reviewed open access journals covering all areas of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities. 

Semantic Scholar

Semantic Scholar is a useful platform for university students looking for scientific literature. It is a free, AI-powered research tool for scientific literature that was founded by the Allen Institute for AI.

The platform aims to use AI to help scholars locate and understand the right research, make important connections, and overcome information overload.

Science.gov 

Other Google Scholar alternatives include Science.gov, which helps users search from over 60 databases and over 2,200 scientific websites to provide users with access to more than 200 million pages of authoritative federal science information including research and development results.

It offers free access to research and development (R&D) results and scientific and technical information from scientific organisations across 13 federal agencies.