Scirus is a search engine for scientists that allows them to dig through not just scientific journals, but also unpublished research, university websites, corporate Internet sites, conference agendas and minutes, discussion groups and mailing-list archives.

Scirus mines 167 million scientific Web pages to get query results. The technology uses linguistic analysis to rank the results, with the highest scientific value at the top. Scirus has been around since April 2001, and its popularity has been slowly but steadily growing. It was named best specialty search engine by SearchEngineWatch in 2001. In 2003, the site accommodated about 30 million searches.

“What (our users) like is it really focuses searches on science websites, which means they have to deal with less nonsense on the Web, and it really reduces the time that they have to spend searching,” said Ammy Vogtlander, product manager for Scirus in Amsterdam. “Another thing they really like is the number of very high-quality sources. We make sure those sources (are) ranked properly.”

Many scientists default to PubMed, a medical journal database maintained by the National Library of Medicine. But vast as that database is, it will miss more-general articles.

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