Talk:List of academic databases and search engines

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The page should make a difference between free searching and free content. HighWire allows free searching while JSTOR don't. --Historiograf 03:02, 10 August 2006 (UTC)


As a librarian, I can say that this page has some serious problems, beginning with the term "academic journal search engines." While its meaning is clear, it is not what they are actually called. I was unaware of this page until just now and have been working on creating a list of bibliographic databases. It is important to realize that the platform or vendor is different from the index that you are searching, which is more often what is referred to as the bibliographic database. This list is mainly a list of platforms or vendors, and therefore isn't as appropriate. It is also very inconsistent about what is included. In terms of the bibliographic databases or article databases or full text databases, it is also very incomplete. Also, it makes no distinction between free databases, databases which are accessible via a library's subscription, and databases which sell content directly to consumers. These should be separate sections of the page. I will work on this page and move it to a better title after some time. For now I just mention these things as important considerations. Rlitwin 18:39, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Right you are, Rlitwin. As another librarian, I have started reorganizing it and adding to it along the lines suggested.
More than renaming it- , I think it needs splitting into: a/ Indexes to journal articles (still with both free and non-free indexes to free & non-free content)-I sugggest this is best done by adding qualifiers than sections--I put some qualifiers in so you can see. b/ collections of articles (which can, incidentally, serve as an index to the included content)--again there will be all 4 types (eg arXiv links to OA versions,but it also links to publishers' versions.) At the moment I don't know of any non-free search engines to free content, except WebofKnowledge's Web CitationIndex,)

  • terminology for qualifiers--indexes are not OA, they are either free or subscription, but journal articles are either OA or subscription)
  • I do not want to use the currently popular "toll access"; maybe "subscription access"? I think "collection" a better and more general word than "archive"
  • What about our library term:indexing and abstracting service? I notice there are relatively few articles--do we want a heading? do we want a category? (I am willing to use the common name "Index" for this group of pages, but not if we want a category.

you have a stub for Bibliographic database. , maybe thats the best general one , with I&A etc a redirect.

  • I do not want to proceed separately if you have already been thinking about it and have time to join in. It could use two people. and it is not really my highest priority. DGG 02:35, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Rlitwin's right about the difference between vendor & database, though this is sometimes hard to figure out unless you're buying the things. Additionally, another argument for changing the (awfully clunky) title of this article is that most of these services search more than just articles -- there are also conference proceedings, gray literature, tech reports, sometimes book chapters, etc. etc. phoebe 05:15, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

previous idea[edit]

I intended to remove the ones that aren't academic journal search engines, in the sense of "programs for finding material in databases."


Unfortunately, many are difficult to class--

  • Scirus & Google Scholar are, but not Scopus, a database that incorporates Scirus's web search engine.
  • Some are simply bibliographic databases or database aggregators, including CSA
  • Some are combination bibliographic databases/full text databases, like J-gate & DOAJ
  • Some are combination bibliographic databases/full text databases/database aggregators/journal aggregators/online journal hosts, such as Ovid -- but Ovid is also an online journal host.
  • some are full text databases from specific publishers, e.g. World Scientific, Springer Link, ...
  • RePEc helpfully calls itself "a decentralized database of working papers, journal articles...", and goes on to say, "Please note that RePEc does not contain full-text journal articles; RePEc services provide links to many full text articles"

possible names[edit]

  • "online journal hosts" (possibly online journal platforms), both poor names, but they describes the function, and can be used for such as Highwire (or Peters) (or BioOne), which provide an online service for the journals of several different publishers.
  • Peters calls itself a publisher, but it isn't, Highwire press says that it is "A division of the Stanford University Libraries, HighWire Press hosts the largest repository of free, full-text, peer-reviewed content" but then goes on to say it is"...different from working with other Internet service providers. We are as unique as our publishing partners." (& it is not an internet service provider as the term is generally used). see { their information page}
  • (I do not want to call them journal aggregators since they are very different from Ebsco, etc,
  • & "repository" is now a term used in an OA context only. DGG 01:11, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

NEW IDEA[edit]

  • let us change the name to List of academic journal and database services, and
  • Bring everything listed on that page, alphabetically , and divide them by types and subjects, using as many types for each as necessary, not worrying about exactitude, with the explanations of the types on individual pages. along with links to their portion of the alphabetic list. (and articles for them all. The new ones will be automatically called stubs, but they're not--any idea on how to prevent this?
  • I do not think we need a page for a list of academic journal search engines as such.

I wait the customary 7 days for reactions, improvements, and better ideas. DGG 01:11, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Don't call it 'List of...'[edit]

Lists are being stamped out all over Wikipedia. ('Wikipedia is not a directory', see WP:NOT). It might be convenient to subdivide the services by type. For example, Google scholar and Citeseer are similar in that they try to run down online copies of articles that are already there. JSTOR is another type of thing because you can do limited browsing of an entire journal, instead of searching by author. A normal encyclopedia article that wasn't trying to list every service could just give a few examples of each type and say how they work. It's possible there could be a good list of online services on some external website and we could link to that. That might reduce the need for a certified complete list of services. I notice the absence of one of my favorites, MathSciNet, from the current list. Another gimmick might be to break this up into subarticles, such as 'Journal online services in economics', 'Journal online services in chemistry'. You could ask members of the corresponding Wikipedia projects to contribute.

I can imagine some evaluation of the competing services, but any opinions would need to be cited from elsewhere to avoid WP:OR. But objective things like 'charges for journal access' could certainly be included, or typical cost per article for an individual subscriber. Having a separate article on an important service like JSTOR is certainly worthwhile. I can imagine a picture of a typical search screen as being informative in such an article. Having a separate article for every service could be a bit much, unless you could link to outside sources of wisdom like reviews. Conceivably you could give some of the history of each service, say if it was growing or shrinking, hint at future plans if known. You could get some of the benefits of a list by introducing a category like 'Journal online services' or some such, and adding the JSTOR and similar articles to that category. (It is easy to create categories).

There must be articles in some library journals comparing and contrasting these services. Including such articles in a reference list would be valuable.

The name 'database' seems somewhat quaint for these things. Is Google a database? Is the Science Citation Index a database? Whether there is a database underneath shouldn't matter to the user; it's an implementation detail. EdJohnston 03:25, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

It would be very bad if lists left wikipedia. There are no quality alternatives:, MyWikiBiz, and are all rubbish. I think this is a case of WP:Ignore_all_rules. If making the intellectual half of the internet better means making a list, why wouldn't we do it? Worst case scenario, add a brief description after each of them. Tristyn 16:12, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

There are two separate good things you talk about[edit]

first, what goes in a database article[edit]

  1. I think we do need articles on all the major 200? 300? 500? databases, though how much we say will vary. If we know of any we cant otherwise describe, we can do as has been done beforee, and copy some descriptive text rom the pubisher or from a library "about" . This can be quite fast. It is not a good idea to leave any in red except temporarily.
  2. The important ones take more work. Since what I know best is science, I've started in on Science Citation Index and associated databases, and on Chemical Abstracts, Each of these will tak me 5 or 6 on-hour sessions, which is the way I work. the data is mainly from the publishers site, but needs clarification and rearrangement, which I do not consider OR. I very much hope others will do ones in their own fields, for I only know about them by accident. If not, I'll put in what I can.
  3. What i would consider OR is testing the DBs to see if it does what it says it does. What I'd consider inapppropriate POV is to make a recommendation. For both of these, one links to reviews. We'd start with the ones available, and add as found.
  4. Perhaps we shouldn't think of competing services, but rather complementary services. Most of them do have some use, after all. Describing what each does is of course appropriate, based on the db site, or help, or description in a good library web page,.
  5. details of how to use it does not seem generally appropriate, though I have been criticized for linking to the site, instead of copying them over.
  6. prices are a problem. I've been critized for giving hem only approximately, & sometimes nothing else is possible. If there's a publishers price list we can link, but the link will change every year, and most of the really expensive ones dont say. For many, I can';t think of anything eter to ay than more than $10,000, or more than $50,000.
  7. If someone wants to do history, let them (in general). I'll leave a heading.
  8. There are 250,000 journals in Ulrichs, and about 10,000 in WoK. Let those who want to add them do so. I can't, except when I need it for some purpose.
  9. Reviews can be best entered by simply going through the principle reviewing sources, which for most of these are Jasco and the Charleston Advisor. Anyone who wants to look for others, fine.
  10. For most of the Projects, I think we are more likely to give them information than to get it, but we should take what we find. For example, nobody has yet thought of doing Biological Abstracts

second how to organize it[edit]

  1. There are many things to categorize by:
    1. Subject, though the degree of detail will vary
    2. type of dbase, though as i said earlier, this is tricky, because most of the major ones do many things. Scopus and ISI are the classic citation databases, though now many others do this within their subject field. There ae bibliographic databases, and there are full text databases, and it is very hard to tell the difference, because most of the full text dbs have search capability. With Ebsco, its limited to what they have, which is a large and very diverse about, for Science Direct and other publisher platforms, it covers only one publisher. SCI is explicitly a collection of databases, while Google Scholar is a search engine, but they both have a variety of capabilities and are both general prpse bibliographic databases.
    3. For OA databases, its worse, because they are often referred to as covering everything, but they dont. CiteSeer, fo example, only covers computer sience.
  2. I do not want to put things into the categories , and then somehow compile a list. It is much easier to collect everything anyone can find, and put them where pwoplw think they go. Otherwise there's too much dupication. Check an ILS, (integrated library system) which almost always provides two lists: alphabetical, and by subject categories. They don't do very well with types, for the same reasons we'd have.
    1. there are many special cases--SCI is a citation database, but it is widely used for general subject lookup--even in areas where most librarians try to get students to use something else. The worst cases are Ebsco, First Search, and Ovid, because they do a great many different things, often in several different ways. The articles on them will be tricky. And they'd fit into a number of categories. Do we want to list the individual dbs in , say ebsco or proquest, except in the article on them? And I ont think for each db, like psychinfo, we want to list all the aggregators that have it.
    2. As mentioned above, I am not yet sure of what special types we want articles for the type on, as for vitation index for. To be discussed, becausse anyone who thinks there should be another can obviously write it.
  • What about by academic subject first (with a hefty general category with subcats for specialities, like citation), and then by type (bibliographic, etc etc)? I think by subject is probably the most accessible to the non-expert, which is most of WP's audience. Also, that might mean that the list could actually have some benefit to the person out there trying to do research. phoebe 05:20, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

if nobody likes[edit]

If nobody like what I suggest, an alternate would be the major categories:

  1. bibliographic databases, divide by subject, and by form, eg citation databases
  2. full-text databases, divide by subject --will obviously overlap, and also need to be subdivided
  3. non-bibliographic databases, divide by subject (eg Artstor) --now in Academic databases, along with all the rest. .
  4. The reason I like one list is to avoid the overlapping subdivisions. but I think this is one thing we need to decide early, or we'll be working at cross purposes.

I express my thanks to EdJohnston, for helping me revise. I think we both more of less do want the same thing. DGG 08:27, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

You might also want to look at List of search engines and its Talk page for ideas. Here is one comment that could be relevant:
"Does a search engine really have to be popular to be listed here, I mean it is a list after all.
Answer: yes. WP:NOT a directory ... General consensus is that lists like this should contain only those for which Wikipedia articles exist - no weblinks, no redlinks - for the reasons stated above. If you think a particular engine is notable, feel free to make an article on it and link it in the right section. Just zis Guy you know? 17:14, 23 February 2006 (UTC)"
If you follow that approach (which the current page seems to) then you WOULD have to write an article for every service included. EdJohnston 05:23, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

next step[edit]

I have looked at the existing lists & articles, which are erratic both in inclusions and omissions, and that quick check is the basis of what I suggest. and so i would. For the minor ones, it would include whatever information is available; if its known at all, there will be some, both from the supplier and the libraries.

How about this: we'll start with a mix of the easy but worthwhile ones, and also do the harder & important. For others, a great many pages use red links for those known but not yet done, because it focuses attention on them. I've had advice to leave them in on all lists. There's advice either way, and on everything. Anyway, if one can find a red link on the web, it can immediately become a stub.

Detailed history can wait. Detailed use instructions, don't belong. What they're good for, does belong & is easy to say. It's not really serious OR to try unfamiliar free ones to find out. Its not really OR to go to a library and try the ones there. A certain number won't work or won't be findable, and they can be removed. Some of the existing pages have been there so long that I expect at least the customary 10% a year link rot.

Here's a { fairly good list}, though it's weak on engineering and agriculture., and the law and medicine are on separate lists. There's about 600 if you remove the duplicate names. As is general in WP I would rarely include the ones not dealing with english language material. At least 1/3 of the ones listed are really e-reference books., and maybe 1/5 newspapers. The reference books are my next project. The newspapers are not my thing. This gives 300; there are probably about 300 in WP now, not the same. Some aren't in scope, so we have 400.

I might not use this particular list for content, because most of the "abouts" are too skimpy. For most, its obvious what subjects they go with. It may not be obvious what type without looking at them. But if I do the work at NYU they'll all have a producer's home page. I don't want to do it alone, and I don't think I have to. But I can. the way to dispose of large numbers of things is to cull the junk, and then start in. One year. I've been a reference librarian for 30 years. I've used half. I know people who can outclass me by far.

What I seriously need help in is the type categories. -- full-text,, aggregators, non-bibliographi etc. They all need good articles.

If I have time this weekend, I'll collect as many as I can from here into a sandbox without disrupting anything existing. Want to help--we can split the subject pages to check, or something of the sort. DGG 08:11, 14 October 2006 (UTC)


As with list of search engines or list of web directories, I think only search engines notable to have their own WP articles should be included. Redlinks should be removed. --ZimZalaBim (talk) 23:32, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

no policy against redlinks[edit]

That is not WP policy. If I am wrong & it is, please cite.
Not only is no WP policy against them in appropriate cases, but there is an active project to fill in the articles, not to delete the links: Wikipedia:WikiProject Red Link Recovery, which suggests "Identifying and removing red links to topics for which no article will ever exist" -- I translate: "If the search engine does not exist, then get rid of the link" I recognize this general field is a category in which linkspam does exist, but there are only 10 redlinks here. If you assert they do not exist, have you tried to find them and failed?
If you think all redlinks should be removed, I suggest you try to write a policy that says so. It might get general consensus, but I doubt it.DGG 03:01, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not claiming it is WP policy, just that it is the practice that is being followed at List of search engines and list of web directories. And mere existence of the search engine might not be a sufficient criteria for having an article (ie, WP:WEB). --ZimZalaBim (talk) 03:05, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
The only reason it is followed at list of search engines is that you seem to be following it, and since this is a cooperatively edited project, you do not own the page, and your practice need not determine mine in this respect. On the more important point we agree: I never did want to include all search engines/databases, or do anything similar for any list, only those that are notable.
But as we obviously work differently, & have disagreed about criteria in several different articles, I want to decrease the areas where we do differently. I do not really like to argue, though it may seem otherwise. ;) I'm quite wiling to leave the List of search engines page alone unless I have something truly notable to add, and I do not think I have ever worked on List of web directories.
Everyone seems to agree that this article and especially its title makes no sense altogether, and it will be much changed.DGG 06:47, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


Karnesky, why are you removing the external links. They let users get directly to the site. Is it a firm policy, or just your preference?DGG 19:08, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

WP:NOT is firm. As I stated on my talk page: "This is fairly common practice for list pages--it prevents accusations of being a link directory/WP:NOT a list of links, prevents spam, etc. It also directs people to the article, which will have the most up-to-date link for the subject matter at hand (pages with many external links tend to fall out of date do to poor maintenance if URLs change). Can you explain any objections to this? --Karnesky 03:46, 3 December 2006 (UTC)" --Karnesky 19:16, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

pt 1 links[edit]

I think it possible that you may have misuderstood the policy, which reads: "[not] Mere collections of internal links, except for disambiguation pages when an article title is ambiguous, and for structured lists to assist with the organisation of articles." Note the word "mere" This is a structured internal list, like many thousands of others on WP, intended to serve as index to the content, and which in addition gives the direct external links for convenience. An encyclopedia is expected to be useful. There may be pages with unstable links, but the ones here are in general extremely stable over many years, and the pages are actively maintained.

it is much easier to get agreement ahead of time if at all possible. I do understand that your position is also defensible, and perhaps it would have been easier to get my agreement before the change rather than at this point. I do not see this as in any way a dispute but rather a discussion, and I don't see it as merely between the two of us, because I don't know what others will think. If others support you, so will I.

I defer readding the links until you & I and others can discuss the matter. And because it will be a good deal of work. Perhaps you could pause for discussion.  ;)DGG 02:03, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

First-and-foremost: regarding the changes without "consent," I follow WP:BOLD. You should too. --Karnesky 02:28, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Next, regarding the links: I never said this was a mere list of links (and have made the point of "mere" that you just made to others).
As EdJohnston notes, "list" pages have been attacked by people far more ruthless than me (removing ALL external links, removing all red links, etc.). The name of the page has little to do with this--it is the content. If we don't keep this page maintained, it will be slashed and burned.
Having external links for red-linked articles makes writing stubs easier. But the only reason to have an external link to a product that is already on WP is for promotion.
Please also read WP:EL.
--Karnesky 02:38, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

pt. 2 redirect[edit]

But what i am quite unhappy about is your redirect of List of bibliographic databases. A redirect like this really must be discussed. There has been a long prior discussion on this, and you should have been aware of it. It was specifically decided to put most of the bibliographic databases in the list you deleted, and leave only representative highlights in the general list located at the end of the academic db page. There are hundreds of similarly strructured list hierachies.

I have not checked each of them: did you save all the unique links and transfer them, or will it be necessary for me to go back in the history and verify?

I'm sending a note of this to a few of the other people who have been working with this topic, to see what they think. I would never say that my opinion alone on a policy or structural or organization question is right.DGG 02:03, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

First, contrary to your edit, this was not vandalism. Please assume good faith! Neither this talk page nor Talk:List of bibliographic databases has a clear explanation of why they should be separate pages. The amount of duplicated content is such that it would be hard to contest that it was a content fork. I copied links over. --Karnesky 02:25, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

minor note[edit]

Hi, I started this article with the intent that it was for the underlying often non-profit organizations which gathered this information. Quickly it seemed to turn into an advertisement for for-profit retailers of this information. I am not recommending anything be done about this, I have no idea, but thought it was worth mentioning here.--Paraphelion (talk) 06:24, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

The comprehensive academic search engines....???[edit]

any more????-- (talk) 09:13, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Depends what you mean by "comprehensive". Are any truly comprehensive? Nurg (talk) 06:21, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Academic search engine - the topic is needed for the inclusion and exclusion of the articles listed in this article-- (talk) 09:58, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Actually I don't believe that Web of Science or Ovid are search engines; they are bibliographic databases. Compare Scirus, which is a search engine, and Scopus which is a bib db, not a search engine. Nurg (talk) 08:57, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Sortable table format[edit]

I moved all the information on the page into a sortable table, making entries more uniform and easier to use. I will work on adding new entries and filling in gaps for existing entries. Clifflandis (talk) 13:59, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Academic Search Microsoft[edit]

I have commented-out Academic Search Microsoft from the table. That page was a redirect to Microsoft Academic Search, which in turn was deleted as a copyright violation. Cnilep (talk) 23:35, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

The page Microsoft Academic Search, newly created by the move of Libra (Search Engine), describes what I presume is the same database. I have restored the content from Academic Search Microsoft under this name, unchanged except for the name and the place in the chart per alphabetic order. Cnilep (talk) 18:30, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Add BioOne[edit]

Would you consider adding BioOne (a not-for-profit organization; to your list?

Name: BioOne ( Discipline(s): Biological, Ecological, and Environmental Sciences Description: An aggregation of peer-reviewed, full-text articles on current research in Biodiversity Conservation, Biology, Ecology, Plant Sciences, Entomology, Ornithology, and Zoology. Access Cost: Free Abstract & References, Subscription Collections, and an Open Access Collection Provider(s): BioOne[1] (

LifeOnEarth21 (talk) 21:44, 22 June 2010 (UTC)


...Is an article more useful to Wikipedians then to Wikipedia readers :) ResMar 02:16, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Article problems[edit]

This article has a number of problems. To start with, it confuses databases and publication platforms (such as AJOL). Furthermore, almost all references are simple links to the homepages of the listed databases and platforms, making this a veritable linkfarm. It also lacks clear inclusion criteria, which any good list should have. As it is, it looks like several non-notable sites are included. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 20:15, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Come and join The Wikipedia Library[edit]

The Wikipedia Library is an open research hub, a place for organizing our amazing community of research and reference experts to collaborate and help improve the encyclopedia.

We are working together towards 5 big goals:

Connect editors with their local library and freely accessible resources
Partner to provide free access to paywalled publications, databases, universities, and libraries
Build relationships among our community of editors, libraries, and librarians
Facilitate research for Wikipedians, helping editors to find and use sources
Promote broader open access in publishing and research

Sign up to receive announcements and news about resource donations and partnerships: Sign up
Come and create your profile, and see how we can leverage your talent, expertise, and dedication: Join in

-Hope to see you there, Ocaasi t | c 14:59, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

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  1. ^