Best Educational Search Engines

Whenever faced with any labor-intensive college paper, like a research paper, a PowerPoint presentation, or even just a standard expository essay, chances are you already know your next move in order to gather information – Wikipedia or “the free encyclopedia.” If that is indeed the case, embarrassment is not yours exclusively because whether we admit it or not and whether or not you are familiar with legitimate and great educational search engines, the average person in the 21st century more or less regards Wikipedia as a “borderline” reliable source of information, the most accessible educational search engine, and the easiest one to understand. Who can blame them? But come on, unless you have been living under a rock for far too long, you know well that even Wikipedia itself compels readers to thoroughly examine the information in its pages because just about anyone possessing marginal Internet literacy can edit the information at any given time. Your college research papers deserve a little more credibility and utilizing Wikipedia as a good educational search engine and a library guarantees a failing grade.   

Which drives you to make a logical guess. Google? Or Yahoo? They are great search engines, yes, but far convincingly far from “educational.” And they are loaded with irritating advertisements which almost always overstay their welcome on your screen. Let’s cut to the chase. For your college essays, research papers, theses, and dissertations, you need educational search engines that can direct you to reputable, scholarly, and best of all, affordable or free sources. Queries typed in these great educational search engines can yield extensive access to a vast array of sources (journal articles, newspapers, videos, among others).

Now, since you already know that neither Wikipedia nor Google nor Yahoo are great educational search engines, it is time to acquaint you with a list of truly credible and great educational search engines to help you with your academics:

Best Educational Search Engines

Google Scholar

Stacked with scholarly literature such as journal, theses, and books spanning the entire academe, Google Scholar’s collection is truly organized – the document’s author, publisher, editions, and the frequency that it has been credited in other sources. It is quite common to find literature from universities, academic publishers, court proceedings, and even lesser-known but nevertheless respectable newsletters.

ResearchGate

This educational search engine is unique in the sense that it is also a social networking site. Imagine Facebook for scientists and scholars. To say that ResearchGate is reliable is such an underestimation due to its unquestionable integrity. Why? ResearchGate’s collection is an authoritative one, with over 130 million publications, comprised of the work of over 15 million researchers. ResearchGate also encourages its users to present queries, to which resident researchers diligently respond. The good thing is it is not confined to the work of researchers and their “Q and A” feature. The researchers also update their “statuses” in the form of real-time “news from members” – a wide variety of works that cover relevant issues centering on culture, the environment, politics, medicine and health, space, and science.

iSeek-Education

Imagine a search engine for students and educators alike and one that is editor-reviewed and approved to boot. Boasting access to almost millions of trustworthy resources from the government, academic institutions, and reliable non-commercial websites, iSeek Education is an oasis of documented knowledge that can boost the research of anyone, regardless of academic level and field. Easy to use and navigate, iSeek-Education utilizes filters (topic, subject, resource type, people) in the sidebar to help you narrow down and be more specific in your queries.

Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)

Specially made to cater to academic research, no less than the US Department of Education maintains ERIC. In its possession is close to 1.5 million records of articles and online documents that can be easily accessed. The vast literature is not confined to educational documents, as it also includes reports, technical guides, specialized research papers, journal articles, and books.

Wolfram Alpha

In the domain of technical proficiency and speed, suffice it to say that Wolfram Alpha outduels just about all the great educational search engines on this list. Imagine Google combined with the playfulness of a beagle and the versatility and intelligence of Richard Dawkins, the world’s top thinker. Do you wish to convert 6 feet 3 inches to Metric System? Would you like to know the width of your cerebellum? Ask no more. Wolfram Alpha is one intuitive educational search engine as it actually guesses the tendencies of your queries. The search engine is already at work even before you finish typing your question. Aside from its brilliant features, it can also be a capable time killer. Aside from possessing a vast knowledge base, Wolfram Alpha also has categories such as Jokes, Conversations, Aphorisms, and even Tongue Twisters under its Surprises panel.

Lexis Web

Packaging itself as “free online legal research, Lexis Web is a dynamic search engine that specializes in law subjects. The perfect boon to law students, law reviewers, and law professors, it is populated with respectable and validated legal sites. Like the other search engines on this list, credibility and a thorough filtering system are its best attributes. For instance, you may narrow down your search by type of site (blog, news, government, commercial) and choose jurisdiction, type of practice, source, and format of the file.   

Microsoft Academic

Launched in 2016, it is the descendant of Microsoft Academic Research which was retired in 2012. Microsoft Academic is one proactive educational search engine, consistently refreshed by experts at Microsoft Research.  Interestingly, it is considered the main competitor of Google Scholar. It has a content of 220 million publications, almost half of which journal articles and scientific documents. What separates Microsoft Academic from other search engines is its use of semantic search technology, which guarantees a greater understanding of the intent of the searcher and the query’s context. Its improved search capabilities make for optimum user experience.  

Access to the best educational search engines is central to the academic survival of 21st-century college students. While there is nothing wrong with reliance on traditional libraries and smaller databases, the expansive reach of these great educational search engines not only equips college students a wealth of research material, it also provides them with instant access to knowledge even if there is no pressing need for a research paper or an essay or a dissertation. Access to these great educational search engines almost equates to leisure learning, so to speak. Combining an uncompromising approach in the proliferation of knowledge with technological savvy, these educational search engines make learning not only easy but also enjoyable.

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