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127 Free and Subscription Based Academic Databases and Search Engines

127 Free and Subscription Based Academic Databases and Search Engines
This resource contains a representative list of notable databases and search engines useful in an academic setting for finding and accessing articles in academic journals, institutional repositories, archives, or other collections of scientific and other articles. In terms of coverage and retrieval quality, databases and search engines are vastly different. Users, especially those searching for records systematically, such as in systematic reviews or meta-analyses, must consider the qualities and constraints of these databases and search engines.

Some of the disciplines covered in this list include aerospace, sociology, agriculture, chemistry, arts, humanities, religious studies, military science, engineering, medicine just to name a few. There are a total of 127 databases and search engines in which 57 are free, 26 are both free / subscription based with the balance 44 being fully subscription based. Happy researching!


  1. AGRIS: Agricultural database (Agriculture) – Free
    Covers agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, aquatic sciences and fisheries, human nutrition, extension literature from over 100 countries. Indexes unpublished scientific and technical reports, theses, conference papers, government publications.
  2. Analytical Sciences Digital Library (ASDL) (Analytical chemistry) – Free
    A collection of peer-reviewed electronic resources on chemical measurements and instrumentation
  3. Arachne (Archaeology, Art history) – Free
    2.4 million digital images from archive material, 1 million of books, 40,000 high quality scans of ancient sculptures, 300 volumes of ancient books with more than 60,000 pages
  4. ArchiveGrid (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Directory of archival materials from American and international institutions, including over five million records
  5. AMiner (Computer Science) – Free
    Online service used to index and search academic social networks
  6. Astrophysics Data System (Astrophysics, Geophysics, Physics) – Free
    Publications in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics, and the arXiv e-prints
  7. AULIMP: Air University Library’s Index to Military Periodicals (Military Science) – Free
    The articles, news items, book reviews and editorials from 63 English language military and aeronautical periodicals
  8. BASE: Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Metadata for 260 million documents from more than 8,000 content providers
  9. CHBD: Circumpolar Health Bibliographic Database (Medicine) – Free
    Contains records describing publications about all aspects of human health in the circumpolar region
  10. CiteSeerX (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Replaced CiteSeer, and ChemXSeer. Mainly Computer science, Statistics, Mathematics.
  11. Civil engineering database (Civil engineering) – Free
    A bibliographic database covering all of ASCE’s publications since 1872
  12. COnnecting REpositories (CORE) (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    A full text aggregator of all open access papers from repositories (institutional, subject, preprints, etc.) and journals. Around 20 million monthly active users.
  13. Crossref (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    An official Digital Object Identifier (DOI) Registration Agency of the International DOI Foundation. Metadata about publications, datasets, grants, preprints from 17,633 members (journals, publishers, etc.)
  14. Directory of Open Access Journals (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Articles from 15,000 open access journals (Dec 2020)
  15. DBLP (Computer science) – Free
    Comprehensive list of papers from major computer science conferences and journals
  16. EconBiz (Economics) – Free
    Covers journals, working papers & conferences in business studies and economics
  17. Europe PMC (Biomedical) – Free
    Abstracts & full text (6.5 million) biomedical and life sciences articles (Dec 2020). Includes text mining tools and links to external molecular and medical data sets.
  18. Google Scholar (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    The biggest academic database & search engine (over 390 million records, unofficial estimate)
  19. HAL (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    An open-access database for French researchers. Organized into institution and domain portals.
  20. Index Copernicus (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Contains over 2,500 journals (including 700 journals from Poland).
  21. Information Bridge: Department of Energy Scientific and Technical Information (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Provides free public access to over 266,000 full-text documents and bibliographic citations of Department of Energy (DOE) research report literature. Documents are primarily from 1991 forward.
  22. IARP (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Open-access knowledge management system incorporating grants, publications, conferences in natural and social & behavioral sciences
  23. INSPIRE-HEP (Physics (High Energy)) – Free
    An open access digital library for the field of high energy physics (HEP) (operates since the 1970s)
  24. International Nuclear Information System (INIS) (Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Energy, Medical Physics) – Free
    A leading bibliographic and grey literature repository covering all areas of nuclear science and technology.
  25. Internet Archive Scholar (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Focus on fulltext search of open access journals and conference proceedings
  26. Jurn (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Index property and open access journals in the arts, humanities, ecology, science, biomedical, business and economics.
  27. Lingbuzz (Linguistics) – Free
    A free archive of linguistics articles, with a focus on syntax, semantics, phonology and morphology
  28. Logeion (Classical Studies) – Free
    An open-access database of Latin and Ancient Greek dictionaries
  29. MEDLINE (Medicine, Healthcare) – Free
    Easy-to-use interface to search and retrieve citations and abstracts from 5,200 journals via MeSH vocabulary
  30. Microsoft Academic (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Covers publications from over 49,000 journals
  31. MyScienceWork (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Database includes more than 90 million scientific publications and 12 million patents.
  32. National Criminal Justice Reference Service (Criminology, Sociology) – Free
    Abstracts of scholarly journal articles, agency and NGO reports, audiovisual products, and conference proceedings.
  33. National Diet Library Collection (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Japanese. Catalog for the National Library of Japan.
  34. OAIster (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Covers records contributed by over 1,500 organizations
  35. OpenGray (Grey literature) – Free
    Indexes European grey literature
  36. ORCID (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    An open and independent registry for contributor identification in research and academic publishing. List: biography, education, employment, works, grants, peer-review. Over 9.3 million profiles.
  37. Paperity (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Aggregator of open access journals and papers (>15,000 journals)
  38. PhilPapers (Philosophy) – Free
    Index journals, books, open access archives, and personal pages maintained by academics
  39. PubMed (Biomedical, life sciences) – Free
    A database primarily of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. Includes MEDLINE, PubMed Central, and Bookshelf.
  40. PubMed Central (PMC) (Biomedical, life sciences) – Free
    Free full-text archive of publications and preprints
  41. Publons (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Service for academics to track their peer review and editorial contributions for academic journals. Merged with ResearcherID
  42. PubPsych (Psychology) – Free
    Datasets and offers, where available, full-text linking, links to additional information and link resolving
  43. RePEc: Research Papers in Economics (Economics) – Free
    Working papers, journal articles, books, books chapters and software components (including 1.2 million full-text articles)
  44. ResearchGate (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Commercial social networking site for scientists and researchers. Over 19 million registered users that share their articles, datasets and other research output.
  45. Russian Science Citation Index (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    A bibliographic database of scientific publications in Russian
  46. SafetyLit (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    >35 distinct professional disciplines (architecture – zoology) relevant to preventing unintentional injuries, violence, and self-harm
  47. SciELO (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Database and a model for cooperative electronic publishing in developing countries (mostly South America and Africa). Indexes >1700 journals.
  48. (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    A gateway to government science information and research results from over 60 databases, over 2,200 websites, and over 200 million pages.
  49. ScienceOpen (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Natural and physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Incorporates arXiv, PubMed, and SciELO. Integrated with ORCID Altmetric uids. Articles from >25,000 journals.
  50. Scientific Information Database (SID) (Engineering & Technology, Medical Science, Basic Science, Human Sciences) – Free
    An Iranian index of academic journals and access to full text or metadata
  51. SCIndeks – Serbian Citation Index (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    A bibliographic database, a national citation index, an Open Access full-text journal repository and an electronic publishing platform. Articles from >230 journals.
  52. Semantic Scholar (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Mostly computer science and biomedical publications. Powered by semantic analysis.
  53. SNAC (Social Networks and Archival Contexts) (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Directory of archival materials grouped by subject entity
  54. Unpaywall (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Harvest Open Access content from over 50,000 publishers and repositories
  55. VET-Bib (Social Science, Education) – Free
    European vocational education and training (VET) literature
  56. Zentralblatt MATH (Mathematics) – Free
    Mainly reviews and abstracts.
  57. DiVA (open archive) (Multidisciplinary) – Free
    Mainly used by Swedish universities and research institutions.

Free & Subscription

  1. African Journals OnLine (AJOL) (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Scholarly journals published in Africa
  2. AGRICOLA: Agricultural Online Access (Agriculture) – Free & Subscription
    Provides public access to information on agriculture and allied fields (17th century – present)
  3. Anthropological Index Online (Anthropology) – Free & Subscription
    Indexes only (no abstracts or full-text) the anthropology journals received by The Anthropology Library at The British Museum
  4. Anthropological Literature (Anthropology, Archaeology) – Free & Subscription
    An index of journals primarily from Tozzer Library, as well as other open-access journals (660 journals with more than 670,000 articles)
  5. ASCE Library (Civil Engineering) – Free & Subscription
    All civil engineering disciplines including structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, construction engineering, environmental engineering, engineering mechanics, sustainability, water resources, irrigation. hydraulics, hydrology, waterways, urban planning, cold regions …
  6. BioOne (Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science) – Free & Subscription
    Full-text from >180 scientific journals in Biodiversity Conservation, Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Entomology, Ornithology, Plant Science, and Zoology.
  7. CiNii (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Database of articles in the Japanese language from 3600 journals
  8. DeepDyve (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Commercial website that sells access to scientific and scholarly articles from a large range of academic publishers (over 1700 journals). Limited free access.
  9. Dimensions (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Publications, books and book chapters, preprints and conference proceedings (linked to data sets, funding, publications, patents, clinical trials, and policy documents). Based on CrossRef. Contains citation-based indicators and Altmetric attention scores.
  10. ERIC: Educational Resource Information Center (Education) – Free & Subscription
    Education literature and resources dating back to 1966.
  11. IngentaConnect (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Covers articles from 13,000 journals
  12. International Directory of Philosophy (Philosophy) – Free & Subscription
    Contains information on university philosophy departments and programs, philosophical societies, research centers, journals, and philosophy publishers in the U.S., Canada, and approximately 130 other countries.
  13. J-Gate (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    J-Gate is an electronic gateway to global e-journal literature (articles from 58,000 journals)
  14. JournalSeek (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Catalogues over 39,000 journals’ information (the description, aims, scope, journal abbreviation, journal homepage link, subject category and ISSN).
  15. JSTOR: Journal Storage (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines (1870–present)
  16. The Lens (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Serves global patent and scholarly knowledge as a public good to inform science and technology enabled problem solving.
  17. Mendeley (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Crowdsourced database of research documents. Over 100M documents uploaded by the researchers plus data from repositories (e.g. PubMed and arXiv)
  18. Philosophy Documentation Center eCollection (Applied ethics, Philosophy, Religious studies) – Free & Subscription
    Journals, series, conference proceedings, and other works from several countries online
  19. POIESIS: Philosophy Online Serials (Philosophy, applied ethics, religious studies) – Free & Subscription
    Journals and series, online access for institutions with print
  20. Rock’s Backpages (Music) – Free & Subscription
    Primary documents from the history of rock and roll. Articles, including interviews, features and reviews, which covered popular music from blues and soul
  21. Socolar (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Scholarly open access resources in different language (mainly Chinese)
  22. SSRN: Social Science Research Network (Social science) – Free & Subscription
    Research papers from more than 55 disciplines
  23. SpringerLink (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Journals, books, series, protocols, reference works and proceedings
  24. WorldCat (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Unified catalog of member libraries’ catalogs
  25. WorldWideScience (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    A union catalog that itemizes the collections of 17,900 libraries in 123 countries
  26. Zasshi Kiji Sakuin: Japanese Periodicals Index (Multidisciplinary) – Free & Subscription
    Scholarly articles in Japanese


  1. Academic Search (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
    Several versions: Complete, Elite, Premier, and Alumni Edition
  2. AgeLine (Sociology, Gerontology) – Subscription
    Includes information on aging-related topics, including economics, public health and policy
  3. Airiti (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
    Chinese e-content provider of Chinese academic e-journals, Taiwanese academic e-journals, classical art images
  4. Analytical Abstracts (Chemistry) – Subscription
    Selection of analytical chemistry articles published by the Royal Society of Chemistry (around 100 journals)
  5. Arts & Humanities Citation Index (Arts, Humanities) – Subscription
    Part of Web of Science. 1,800 journals across 28 arts & humanities disciplines. Records back from 1975 to present.
  6. Association for Computing Machinery Digital Library (Computer Science, Engineering) – Subscription
    Collection of all ACM publications, including journals, conference proceedings, technical magazines, newsletters and books
  7. ATLA Religion Database (Religious studies) – Subscription
    Provides information on topics such as biblical studies, world religions, church history, and religion in social issues
  8. Bibliographie de civilisation médiévale (Medieval studies) – Subscription
    A bibliography of monographs on the Middle Ages. As of 2018, it contains about 65,000 fully classified bibliographic records.
  9. Book Review Index Online (Book reviews) – Subscription
    Reviews of periodicals and books – including those on tape and electronic media
  10. Books In Print (Books) – Subscription
    Reviews covering over 2.5 million titles
  11. Chemical Abstracts Service (Chemistry) – Subscription
    Approximately 8,000 journals, technical reports, dissertations, conference proceedings, and new books
  12. Chinese Social Science Citation Index (Social sciences) – Subscription
    Covers about 500 Chinese academic journals of humanities and social sciences
  13. CINAHL: Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (Nursing, Allied Health) – Subscription
    Journal articles about nursing, allied health, biomedicine and healthcare. Covers 5,500 journals (English and other language).
  14. Cochrane Library (Medicine, Healthcare) – Subscription
    Includes reviews of research to promote evidence-based healthcare.
  15. Current Contents (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
    Part of Web of Science. Contains 7 discipline-specific subsets.
  16. EconLit (Economics) – Subscription
    Covers articles and other materials dating back to 1969
  17. Ei Compendex (Engineering) – Subscription
    Electronic version of Engineering Index
  18. EMBASE (Biomedicine, Pharmacology) – Subscription
    Biomedical database with a focus on drug and pharmaceutical research. Rrecords from over 8,500 journals (1947–present).
  19. FSTA – Food Science and Technology Abstracts (Food science, Food technology, Nutrition) – Subscription
    The database of information on food science, food technology and nutrition
  20. GeoRef (Geosciences) – Subscription
    Records from 3,500 journals in 40 languages
  21. IEEE Xplore (Computer Science, Engineering, Electronics) – Subscription
    Over 5 million records.
  22. Informit (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
    Australasian aggregator of bibliographic databases and journals
  23. Indian Citation Index (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
    Covers articles from 1100+ journals from India from scientific, technical, medical, and social sciences
  24. Inspec (Physics, Engineering, Computer Science) – Subscription
    Contains records in physics, electrical engineering, electronics, communications, control engineering, information technology, manufacturing, production, and mechanical engineering.
  25. International Medieval Bibliography (Medieval studies) – Subscription
    A multidisciplinary bibliographic database covering Europe, North Africa and the Middle East for the entire period from AD 300 to 1500
  26. International Philosophical Bibliography (Philosophy) – Subscription
    Focus on the history of philosophy and continental philosophy.
  27. L’Année philologique (Classical studies) – Subscription
    Over 860,000 bibliographical entries, including keywords, abstracts, and links to the full text.
  28. LexisNexis (Law) – Subscription
    Electronic database for legal and public-records related information
  29. Linguamatics (Medicine, Healthcare, Patents) – Subscription
    Interface for searching MEDLINE,, FDA Drug Labels, PubMed Central, and Patent Abstracts.
  30. MathSciNet (Mathematics) – Subscription
    Records from 650 math journals (early 1800–present)
  31. Philosophy Research Index (Philosophy) – Subscription
    Index of books, journals, disserations, and other documents
  32. Project MUSE (Humanities, social science) – Subscription
    MUSE’s online journal collections are available on a subscription basis to academic, public, special, and school libraries. More than 2,500 libraries worldwide subscribe.
  33. PsycINFO (Psychology) – Subscription
    Focus at behavioral science and mental health. Coverage 1887–present.
  34. Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature (Literature) – Subscription
    Reference guide to articles in >470 periodical magazines and journals, organized by article subject (1890 to present)
  35. Science Citation Index (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
    Part of Web of Science. 24,000+ journals across 254 subject disciplines.
  36. Science Direct (Science including Medicine) – Subscription
    Content from more than 4,000 academic journals and 30,000 e-books
  37. Scopus (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
    Records from over 20,500 titles from over 5,000 international publishers
  38. SearchTeam (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
    Search together collaboratively for scholarly articles and resources
  39. Social Science Citation Index (Social science) – Subscription
    Part of Web of Science
  40. Sparrho (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
    Research articles and patents from 45k+ journals and preprint servers. Uses content recommendation concept.
  41. Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
    Provides serials for periodicals
  42. Web of Science (Multidisciplinary) – Subscription
    Includes other products, such as Social Science Citation Index, Science Citation Index, Biological Abstracts & The Zoological Record
  43. WestLaw (Law) – Subscription
    Over 40,000 databases of case law, state and federal statutes, administrative codes, newspaper and magazine articles, public records, law journals, law reviews, treatises, legal forms and other information resources
  44. The Zoological Record (Zoology) – Subscription
    Unofficial register of scientific names & papers in zoology. Coverage 1864–present.