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Search Engines and Free Databases


Sullivan, Danny (ed.).

While not a search engine itself, this website features search engine descriptions, comparisons, and ratings.  It also includes forums and web searching tips.

Intute: science, engineering & technology

Heriot Watt University; University of Birmingham; Joint Information Systems Committee.

Information specialists at several UK universities developed this website of descriptions and links to over 10,000 quality engineering, mathematics and computing resources for engineering researchers, students and educators.   It includes an Ejournal Search Engine (EESE), which searches the content of over 250 freely available full text engineering and science ejournals.


This knowledge portal for civil engineering professionals and students includes a directory of engineering websites in many civil engineering subjects, engineering, project and industry news, a career center with job and resume postings. 


Elsevier Publishing.

This search engine, developed by the Elsevier publishing company, searches over 250 million science-related websites including archived documents, conferences, technical reports, and patent data.  Some full-text documents are free, others are fee-based or require a subscription.

U.S. Department of Energy.

This search engine searches national and international science and technology databases and portals for documents not usually included by popular search engines.

United States Patent and Trademark Office

This website allows you to search a database for patents (full-text since 1976, full-page images since 1790) or published applications (published since 15 March 2001).

United States Government.

This  centralized, comprehensive website allows one to search and apply for every U.S. federal government grant.  All of the 26 federal agencies that award grants have been required to submit information about all their grant opportunities to since November, 2003.  The site currently includes information on 1,000 grant programs and approximately $400 billion in annual awards.


American National Standards Institute.

The NSSN (National Standards Systems Network) is a search engine for standards from many national and international standards.  Most standards are not free, but you can purchase most on the site or find contact information for the issuing organizations.  You can also set up automatic alerts so that you are notified when standards are revised or related standards are registered or approved. 


Center for History and New Media, George Mason University.

A searchable, browsable database of reviewed websites on the history of science, technology, and industry.


FedStats, which has been available to the public since 1997, provides access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the Federal Government without having to know in advance which Federal agency produces which particular statistic. With convenient searching and linking capablilties to more than 100 agencies that provide data and trend information on such topics as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production and more, FedStats is your one location for access to the full breadth of Federal statistical information.


Virtual Technical Reports Center

University of Maryland Libraries.

"This site  contains links to technical reports, preprints, reprints, dissertations, theses, and research reports of all kinds."

MIT OpenCourseWare

Open Courseware from MIT, Johns Hopkins University, and Tufts University. This site covers many disciplines and is linked by discipline. You can also keyword search the site. Course content, lectures, student projects and activities are included. These are full course sites which you can link to the entire course or a specific item within a course.

OEDb : Online education database

This website includes a large list of links to open courseware, educational podcasts, videocasts and e-textbooks.

OER Commons

Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education.

This site allows one to search or browse pre-K through graduate school course materials.

openculture : free online courses from great universities

Colman, Dan.

This website includes links to audio and podcasts of individual courses and course collections in many different disciplines.


IAC Search & Media.

This free service allows one to search for, read, share, and subscribe to RSS and ATOM feeds, including news feeds and blogs.  It does not require software installation and can be accessed from any internet connection.


This engine searches millions of archived and indexed newsfeeds, blog entries, podcasts and videocasts.  It does not allow you to subscribe to feeds, but you can create a custom feed from a search, and then export it to another news aggregator or feed reader.

Podcast Alley

McIntyre, Chris.

This large, indexed podcast directory allows for browsing by subject or popularity, or searching by keyword or topic.

iTunes Music Store

Apple Computer, Inc..

Searches for music, video, radio or podcast files.  Now included are free podcasts of University of California Berkeley course lectures and campus events (Site requires free registration.  Some file downloads require a fee, others, including most podcasts, are free).


America Online.

Index and search engine of multimedia formats including Windows Media, RealMedia, QuickTime, and mp3 files


A cutting edge search engine for audio and video content that uses visual analysis and speech recognition software when searching files.


BBN Technologies.

Instead of indexing or categorizing podcasts, PODZINGER searches the words spoken within each podcast and allows users to read or listen to the word within its context. 

Jill Werdell Spreitzer

Associate Library Professor
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