5 Best Search Engines for Students in 2022 Besides Google

How often do you search for information on Google? One of the best search engines in the world is indispensable in our daily life, especially for university students overwhelmed with course readings and assignments. A few keywords in the search bar – and voila – the results link you to endless facts and suggestions on a particular topic.

Google might win the popular vote, but it’s far from the only resource on the internet for budding academics. How you find sources for homework is just as important as what information you get. For that, there’s no better way to dive deep into your subject through search engines optimized for academic research – it’s part of developing your critical thinking while sharpening your eyes on fact-checking to spot fake news.

If you’re ready to step up your research game, be sure to bookmark this list for future reference:

Where you get your information matters just as much as the material. Using academic search engines weeds out dubious sources in your article. Source: Philippe Lopez/AFP

The Best Search Engines to Use in Academia


If you’re familiar with Google Scholar or JSTOR, you might have come across this nifty website through your college library. WorldCat.org prides itself on being the world’s largest network of library content and services.

You can use WorldCat.org through your student library account to unlock an endless treasure trove of knowledge. It works by directing you to the collections of over 10,000 libraries worldwide, including the prestigious Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford and the Library of Congress.

WorldCat.org gives you access to various formats in its catalog, such as old VHS tapes and downloadable sheet music, all of which are primary sources that greatly improve the quality of your research.

Semantic Scholar

Need a more precise and analytical method to interpret your sources? Semantic Scholar is your answer.

Powered by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI), this free search engine leverages sophisticated AI and machine learning techniques to augment its discovery tools. It has a function that extracts meaning and connects dots between papers, so it is convenient for data interpretation.

You can also say goodbye to confusing navigation of advanced search tools and wordy on-screen text. Visually, it is one of the best college search engines with a user-friendly interface that uses a simple yet dynamic design. The easy-to-follow tutorials are a plus to help you optimize your search on the site.


Would you like to plant a tree with every search? EcosiaIt’s unique philosophy landed it on our list of top search engines: it’s a social enterprise built on the principle that anyone can fight climate change, even with the click of a button.

Ecosia channels the advertising revenue it makes to support reforestation projects that aim to neutralize carbon dioxide emissions. According to the website, he planted more than 154 million trees around the world, from Mount Bamboutos in Cameroon to the restoration of Indonesian forests in former oil plantations.

Aside from its green initiatives, Ecosia is great for students because it can be added as extensions to default browsers, with an app version for your mobile devices. Environmental science students can rejoice: his blog regularly updates the latest scoops in the world of ecology, so you’re always up to date on climate action news.

Best Search Engines for College Students in 2022

Ecosia uses ad revenue to support reforestation projects around the world and can be easily added as an extension to your default browser. Source: Nipah Dennis/AFP

Open Knowledge Maps

Scientific journals don’t have to be dry and boring, and the developers of this search engine artfully understand the power of visual learning. Instead of getting results as lines of text, it gives you a map with an overview of the 100 most relevant documents related to your search query. The algorithm then groups them into circles based on the number of common words they have.

It is one of the best search engines checked by researchers from prestigious schools such as ETH Zurich and Harvard University. The best part? There is an automatic citation generator for each document you click on, saving you time when formatting your references correctly.

Best Search Engines 2022

Open Knowledge Maps visualizes your search queries by grouping scientific articles based on recurring words and phrases. Source: Open Knowledge Maps

Connecting repositories (CORE)

HEART is a non-profit service with the goal of becoming the world’s largest aggregator of open access journals and peer-reviewed articles on the web. He has more than 200 million scientific papers collected from 11,000 data providers, connecting you to multiple research repositories from universities around the world.

If you’re tired of pesky paywalls blocking access to the documents you need, you can add the Basic Discovery free extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Opera. This handy feature searches for a copy accessible elsewhere, so you don’t have to go it alone.

Amanda J. Marsh