March 1, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 5)
Strong Points: Excellent database
Weak Points: Nothing significant
Billing itself as “the scientific search engine,” Scirus has been covered on these pages previously, but it’s time for an update. Since last covered here, Scirus has had a major expansion. Now with 27 research institute repositories and 450 million scientific Web pages scanned, Scirus can lay legitimate claim to being THE scientific search engine. The interface is simple, with a basic search engine looking for text hits and advanced functions that allow users to restrict searches by information type (books, abstracts, etc.), file format, content sources (journals, web), and subject area. I found the retrieved results to be very thorough. Indeed, I found a few references to myself out on the Web that I wasn’t even aware of. For a search engine to be effective, it must span as broadly as it can and it must point users to desired information as quickly as possible. In general, Scirus does this. The latest iteration of this tool is the best yet and deserves to be on every scientist’s bookmark list.