A (Free) Deep Content Search Engine

FindArticles goes where most search engines can't, providing full text access to thousands of articles, many of which aren't freely available elsewhere on the web.

FindArticles is a partnership between LookSmart, which provides the search infrastructure, and the Gale Group, which provides the published editorial content. It contains articles dating back to 1998 from more than 300 magazines and journals.

You can search for articles in several ways. The basic search form accepts quoted phrases, and the inclusion (+) and exclusion (-) operators, making it easy to construct a relatively sophisticated query and limit your results.

Browsing is also well supported. The home page is organized as a directory, arranged by subject. Alternately, you can browse an alphabetical list of publication names -- everything from the Academy of Management Review to Wrestling Digest.

If you want to search only one specific publication for articles, you may use the search box on that particular publication's information page. To get there, choose a publication using the title list, or click on the 'Search this Publication' link at the top of any article page after you've run a search for your query terms.

Also at the top of any article page is a linked list of terms related to the article, making it easy to retrieve similar articles from other publications.

The major strength of FindArticles is that it's a self-contained archive, and doesn't rely on links to articles found on publication web sites. This solves a major problem for searchers. Many print magazines and journals publish just a few stories from each issue on their web sites, or place them into restricted archives available only to subscribers.

But since FindArticles presumably has the rights to distribute most of the content from the publications in its collection, you can often find a particular piece that may not be possible to find either on a publication web site or by using a general purpose search engine.

I use FindArticles all the time to pull up articles I've written for print-based trade publications such as Online Magazine, Information Today, EContent and others that aren't always on the web. It's also very useful for finding articles from my favorite authors who have articles appearing in publications I don't subscribe to.

About the only downside to FindArticles is that you can't sort results by date. But this is a minor quibble compared with the phenomenal value offered by the service.

A tip: Most articles are formatted to display in multiple page segments. Use the "print this article" link to display the full text in a single browser window.

With so many content sites now slapping fees on their users, I wonder how long FindArticles can or will continue to remain free. In the meanwhile, I highly recommend this unique and valuable resource for anyone trying to find articles from a collection of high quality magazines and journals.


Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

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About the author

Chris Sherman is a frequent contributor to several information industry journals. He's written several books, including The McGraw-Hill CD ROM Handbook and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See, co-authored with Gary Price. Chris has written about search and search engines since 1994, when he developed online searching tutorials for several clients. From 1998 to 2001, he was About.com's Web Search Guide.