Scirus is a search engine. ( It is Elsevier Science, Reed Elsevier Group, UK (a publicly traded, international publisher and information provider: journals, books, electronic products, services, databases, and portals). The purpose is a science, technology and medicine search engine that makes searching the Internet for scientific sources and information--both free and proprietary—easier, more efficient, accurate and comprehensive than other generic search engine.

Scirus is a meta subject search engine that uses a Web crawler to index science websites identified by human and computer mediators—a process called “focused crawling.” It is powered by FAST, the same search, filter, and transfer technology used by eBay, FirstGov, Reuters and Lycos.

Use of Scirus is free, but most of its Journal articles are from subscription databases like Elsevier’s ScienceDirect. Nonmembers can purchase access to the articles for about thirty dollars as of May 2004. There are, however, access to free e-prints on sites like

While both scholarly and popular sources can be found using Scirus, it is for the most part a gateway to primary “scientific” sources—information produced by scientists and science organizations like associations, societies, companies, universities and government agencies. The intended audience is best described as anyone interested in primary scientific sources—including scientists, educators, researchers and science students.

Scirus searches 167 million science-specific web pages covering the life, physical, social and health sciences: has reported that Scirus gets 22,87 hits a day on average and is linked-to on over 4,700 web pages. Scrirus was given the Best Specialty Search Engine Award in 2001 and in 2002 and won second place in 2003 by Search Engine Watch.

The Scirus search engine does a good job of filtering out non-science content but does not do a perfect job. The advantage is that the site does a lot of the tedious wading through of non-science information for you. It gives you the ability to search for PDF searches only, which is particularly useful since a lot of journal articles and reports are in pdf format. Scirus is useful as a scientist directory and website credibility indicatory. It does not, however, cover reputable, popular media that may cover science issues from a social or humanities point of view. There is an obvious bias toward the Elseview publications in the journals search function of the engine.

How to Use


Boolean Operaotrs

  • Assumes AND
  • Use quotes for phrases. All of your results will contain the phrase.
  • Use parentheses for nesting
  • ANDNOT used for Not
  • + can be used for AND
  • - can be used for NOT

Limiters: Checkbox

Limiters: Command line

  • One thing that should be noted here is that despite what the tips page says, do not use spaces between colon and words.
  • url: (do not include www.)
  • dom: (do not include the dot in the domain name gov NOT .gov)
  • ti:“title”
  • au:author
  • jo:Journal title
  • af:affiliation