Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Search engines.

A few days ago, someone pointed out another sciency search engine on the web in one of the comments: Scirus. Meanwhile, I have managed to try it, and it might be a good additional way to find things - articles, books, pdf files - regarding a research topic.

Like usually, it is a bit biased towards both patent applications or natural science articles (because more of that is on the net than, say, scientific articles about the performance of a 16.5 g spindle whorl on different spindle sticks), but it's nice to have a second place to look in addition to Google Scholar.

Speaking of alternative search engines - I have been trying to get a little more independent of Google search recently. Because, you know, monopoly is not good, usually - and total dependency is not good either. So I have given DuckDuckGo a go.

DuckDuckGo searches stuff but does not rank it by hits like Google does by default; they have a very, very good privacy policy (that is so good it will havoc stat tracking functions for webmasters, since you will not hear about search terms used to find your site); there's goodies like instant calculator and password generator, and no ads except from a very unobtrusive sponsored link.

I have, by way of testing, put it into my browser as the default search engine. It is very interesting to see how different search results can look, and quite impressive how much Google "tunes" the results. I'm not totally convinced I will stay with it forever, though - and I still use Google for some stuff. I have noticed that in quite a few cases, I have a much easier time finding the site I am looking for with Google, thanks to their sorting algos. And the Duck has no image search (something that I need not too infrequently).

However, I like their policy. Go give them a try - maybe it's just the (additional) search engine you were looking for.

No comments: