Category Archives: Reference

RefSeek for “academic information”

RefSeek is a a new search engine that “aims to make academic information easily accessible to everyone”.  There is very little information on how it works other than it  searches more than one billion documents, including web pages, books, encyclopaedias, journals, and newspapers.  A few test searches suggest that it searches just .edu.,  .org web and .gov web sites but not or  Straightaway, those of us in the UK are missing out on a large chunk of scientific information and data as are other countries whose academic web domains do not include an organisation type such as. edu or ac. My searches on zeolites, for example,  failed to pick up papers on Zurich University’s web site (  Also, .org and domains can be bought by anyone and are not guaranteed to carry quality, peer reviewed articles. A search on my husband (Rhodes) and zeolites came up with some of his papers on the Royal Society of Chemistry web site ( and his own home page that is normally advertised as, but RefSeek picked up on the alternative domain.

Search options are the standard double quotes around phrases, minus sign to exclude documents containing a term, plus sign to include stop words and the Boolean OR. Next to each entry in the results list is an option to “Search this Site” which does work well. Although searching is free, you may find that you have to pay for articles on some sites.

Overall, RefSeek does a reasonable job of limiting your search to more serious scientific and academic information but there are far too many omissions for it to be reliably used on its own.  There are several other science search engines that I would recommend you investigate and use along side of RefSeek: see Ten Science Search Engines at

xRefer becomes Credo Reference

Thanks to Peter Scott picking this up in his Library Blog.

xRefer has just announced that it has changed its name to Credo Reference. The reason for the change? The press release says:

“While the former name spoke to one of the many benefits of our functionality, cross-linking across content from hundreds of quality titles from dozens of the best reference publishers, commented John Dove, Credo Reference CEO, “it was far from memorable to those who might hear it for the first time. This made it hard to pass along via word-of-mouth. Our new name speaks to one of the main challenges for online reference publishing, namely how to stand out from the confusing jumble of information and misinformation that today’s online information seeker encounters.

I agree that we will no longer have to explain to users what xRefer ‘means’ or how to pronounce it, but I am not sure that many will appreciate the roots of ‘Credo’ (Latin for ‘I believe’) . “Credo? Who’s he – one of the hobbits?” Or imagine what a dissatisfied user might call it by changing the first vowel to one later in the alphabet!

The new URL for the service is