for scientific information only

In 2001, Elsevier launched the multidisciplinary scientific search engine Scirus, which was active until 2014. Scirus combined web-based scientific content with full texts from ScienceDirect, Elsevier's multidisciplinary paid full-text database, Medline citations, United States Patent and Trademark Office patents, preprints of mathematics and chemistry preprint servers, and more.

A common problem of scientific search engines is a high error rate. Scirus solves this problem by including reliable collections such as intellectually indexed or at least controlled databases, thereby increasing the accuracy of the entire search engine. This requires appropriate extensions to the search engine technology used. Scirus used the search technology of the Norwegian company FAST (FAst Search and Transfer), which was taken over by Microsoft in 2008. FAST offered different interfaces for content capture. In addition to the Web Crawler, the Database Connector allows the import of database content and the File Traverser determines and transfers data from file systems.

Various linguistic analysis options are offered for the analysis and processing of documents: Entity extraction, thesaurus comparison or recognition of the document structure (e.g. HTML, XML). Document processing takes place in so-called pipelines, which are offered for different document types or formats. They transform these document collections by means of normalization, document processing (modification) and mapping (into searchable fields) into a structure required for indexing. The result output is based on a relevance ranking of the documents, which also includes the importance of the index fields.

Language English

Launched 2001
Closed January 2014

Developer Elsevier

Country of Origin Netherlands

2001 - 2014 Elsevier

Topic Academic, Scientific or Educational Search engine

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Search engine for databases, repositories, portals and other closed (deep web) or open content collections

Used SeEn Scirus

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite


»We took the name Scirus from the following passage: "To the Eleusinians who were warring against Erechtheus, came a man, Scirus by name, who was a seer from Dodona, and who also established at Phalerum the ancient temple of Athena Sciras. After he had fallen in the battle, the Eleusinians buried him near a winter-flowing river and the name of the region and the river is from that of the hero."* We chose the name Scirus because seers and prophets are said to judge the signs of what is to come. And science is a visionary discipline in which you are continuously working on new ideas and developments. The Scirus search engine will pro-actively support your role as a seer. *Excerpt from "The Description of Greece" by Pausanias, translated by August A. Imholtz, Jr., CIS Executive Editor« Source

Critical points

Features & Functionality


References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others):

Other Sources

Medeiros, N. (2002). Introducing Scirus: Elsevier’s shot at the title. OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, 18(3), 121–124. URL:
Ortega, J. L. (2014). Academic search engines: a quantitative outlook. Oxford: Chandos Publishing. URL:
Elsevier Science. (2002). About Scirus URL:
Kanaeva, Z. (2005). Verteilter Dokumenten Speicher: Erfahrungen mit der Suchmaschine Fast. URL:
Weinhold, T., Bekavac, B., Schneider, G., Bauer, L., & Böller, N. (2011). Wissenschaftliche Suchmaschinen-Übersicht, Technologien, Funktionen und Vergleich. In D. Lewandowski (Hrsg.), Handbuch Internet-Suchmaschinen Teil: 2., Neue Entwicklungen in der Web- Suche (S. 141–177). Heidelberg: Akademische Verl.-Ges. URL:

Created: 2013-02-10