Search engines

Searching with multidisciplinary and subject-specific databases
If you want to search for academic/scientific information (articles, congress reports and reviews) relating to a subject, we advise you to use search systems (bibliographical databases) such as Scopus or Web of Science. These databases also have a citation index, letting you see how often each article has been cited. If you click through you will also see a list of authors who have cited the article, and in which publication. This gives you an insight into the academic rating for the article (number of citations), and it allows you to discover new publications.

> Read Libguide B: Under tab 8 you’ll find more information on searching for literature by specialist field

Searching in the specialist databases
VU University Library also holds licences for a large number of specialist databases. You won’t find these if you search using Google (Scholar) and you won’t always find them either if you search using LibSearch. So it’s important to search in the databases themselves. You’ll find an overview of the databases to which VU University Library has access by clicking on ‘Other UB collections’ in the blue bar on the home page. Then click on e-resources, which will display to you a list of sources. Use the filter options on the right of the screen to make selections. Selection options include faculty and specialist field, for instance.

> In the VU Libguide C: General you’ll find the selections already made per specialist field.

An overview of het most important search engines and academic databases per subject - accessible through VU Amsterdam's University Library


Libsearch is the search engine the university library uses. In the principle you can find all literature. More information:

Link to database


Scopus contains peer reviewed articles, citations and references.

Link to database


Web of Science contains peer reviewed articles, citations and references

Link to database

For specific subject searching we recommend databases from your academic field 



The ATLASerials (ATLAS) is an online collection of major religion and theology journals with full-text articles.

Link to database


Google Scholar is the academic version of Google. You can search for academic literature easily. You’ll find tips for using Google Scholar here.
Link to:


Nexis Uni offers full text articles from the main national and international newspapers and news agencies. In addition Nexis offers, judicial information (legislation) and company information, like annual reports and filings.

Link to database


The database offers references to abstracts and full text of international literature in psychology and related disciplines, containing articles, books, reports and dissertations.

Link to database


PubMed is an important database with literature from bio-medical sciences

Link to database