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General and Health Search Engines  

This guide covers a variety of information on general search engines, deep web search engines as well as medicine and health specific ones.
Last Updated: Jan 11, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Evaluating websites

Search Engine Reviews & Directories

Keeping up with search engines, strategies and features.


The following tutorials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License from The Regents of the University of California.

For Kids

  • ipl2: information you can trust  
    A learning/teaching environment and a merge of the collections of resources from the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians' Internet Index (LII) websites.
  • Family Friendly Search
    Search Yahooligans, AOL Kids, Kids Click & Saluki Search with just one click.
  • OneKey
    The kid safe search engine.
  • AskKids
    Designed exclusively for young people - ages 6 to 12. It's a free, safe, fun way for kids and their parents to quickly and easily research school topics like science, math, geography, language arts, and history in a search environment that's safer and more age-appropriate than traditional, adult search engines

General Search Engines

Some alternatives to Google

  • Blekko  
    Use the unique slashtags feature to quickly reveal authenticated sites in a relevant section, rather than the entire web. Quite an extensive list of slashtags already exist or create your own. A neat option is to create your own slashtag on a specific topic, populate it with the websites of your choice and share them with others.
  • DuckDuckGo  
    Less clicking forward and backwards between links as it gives instant results.
    A strong privacy policy is in place.
  • MillionShort
  • Bing  
    May deliver unique results, esp. in research and business.
    Use the advanced search features, of which the main ones are:
    site: filetype: intitle:
  • Yahoo! Search
    The web content comes from Bing but a good web portal for internet beginners.

Open Access repositories /Free Medical Databases and journals

  • BestBETS
    Provides rapid evidence-based answers to real-life clinical questions in emergency medicine, using a systematic approach to reviewing the literature. Developed in the Emergency Department of Manchester Royal Infirmary, UK.
  • Blitter
    Blitter is an experimental search engine which offers a new insight into searching for clinical information in the context of social media. This innovative approach to clinical search within a social context has been designed and implemented by Jon Brassey and the TRIP database team
  • Cases Database
    The value added solution.
  • The Cochrane Library
    The South Africa Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and Wiley announced in June 2017 that a National Provision for the Cochrane Library for South Africa has been agreed to. The deal came into effect on 01 June 2017 and allow all South Africans access to this invaluable, evidence-based resource. The first year of the agreement runs from June 2017 to May 2018 and will be renewed for a further two years, conditional upon Governmental funds being available. Going forward, the cost of Years Two and Three will be born wholly by the SAMRC. This opportunity assist healthcare providers nationwide get free access to much needed information.
  • DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals
    This directory offers a searchable database of nearly 10,000 OA journals or 1.7 million journal articles at
  • DOAR: The Directory of Open Access Repositories
    Allows users to search for any of thousands of OA repositories worldwide.
  • EuropePubmedCental
    Free access to biomedical literature resources. How does Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) differ from PubMed and PubMed Central?Europe PMC was developed in collaboration with the founders of PubMed and PubMed Central , the National Center for Biotechnology Information which is based in the United States. The principles of these services are similar - to provide free access to published peer-reviewed biomedical and health research abstracts and full-text articles (PubMed and PubMed Central respectively) - but there are some distinct differences too.
    Unlike PubMed Central, Europe PMC provides a single point of access to not only full-text articles but additionally the abstracts available through PubMed.
  • Free Medical Journals
  • HighWire Search
  • Open J-Gate
  • PLoS, the Public Library of Science
  • 25 Open Access Search Engines for the medical professional
  • Health / Medical directories list
    A list of Health / Medical directories. Health related products and services. Web directories specific to the Health and/or Medical niche. Free and paid business listings
  • Link Directory for Google Custom search engine - Health
  • Pubmed
  • Research output @ Stellenbosch
    SU SUNScholar repository

Medicine & Health Search Engines

  • MedWorm
    A medical RSS feed provider as well as a search engine built on data collected from RSS feeds. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it is a technology used to simply publish and gather details of the very latest information on the internet.
  • Health search engines, portals and directories

Deep Web Search Engines & Directories

The "deep web" or "invisible web" is the large part of the world wide web that is not indexed by general search engines, such as Google. It is pages that often live inside databases or pages where you need to login.

Metasearch Engines

Meta search engines are search tools that enable users to search multiple search engines and/or databases simultaneously, and aggregate the results into one list or display them according to their source.

Find health care providers in SA


Super searching presentations

These presentations were delivered at the 14th annual LIASA conference, held in Durban from 1-5 October 2012.

Finding the right tool

Most search tools are designed to do a particular thing.
Be sure you pick a tool that matches your info need ... from Crumb & Crane  Libraries


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