What is Scirus?:
A brief overview of how Scirus works:
How to search with Scirus:
On the right-hand side of your search results page is a box inviting you to "Refine your search using these keywords found in the results". Not all were relevant to what I was searching for, but still, they gave me good ideas to make my search string more robust than I would have thought of.
Advanced search options:
Advanced Search allows you to narrow your results by date, information types (abstracts, articles, books, patents, scientist homepages, etc. Any Information Type is checked by default.), file formats (.pdf files, Word files, etc. Any format is checked by default.), content sources-you can choose to only include Journal Sources (BioMed Central, Medline/PubMed, Project Euclid, etc.) or you can go for Preferred Web Sources (NASA, CogPrints, Patent Offices, etc. All is checked by default.). In addition, you can look at Subject Areas to really narrow your search down from the get-go; this includes Agricultural and Biological Sciences, Engineering, Energy and Technology, Computer Science, and many more. The "All Subject Areas" box is checked by default.
Search Preferences enables you to drive your searches the way you would like them to appear. What this means is you get to choose how many results show up on the page, you get to choose if your search results open in a new browser, you can cluster your results by domain, but the coolest of them all is something called "query rewriting." Now, I'm not the most scientific-minded girl, so this especially caught my eye - Scirus will "automatically rewrite queries to improve results" if you leave this box checked (it's checked by default).
Either of these options (Advanced Search and Search Preferences) will equip you to find what you're looking for without too much of a fuss, but if you need extra help, check out the Search Tips page. Scirus has outlined some of the various search operators that will help you, and there's also a much more detailed explanation of how to use the Advanced Search settings than I've gone into here.
Why Scirus is worth using:
Scirus also finds information that is not readily available in the more general search engines, such as peer-reviewed papers or .pdf files. Lastly, the biggest reason I can recommend Scirus is that they draw their results from a vast repository of scientific sources - you'll want to check out the range of scientific content that Scirus covers in order to really appreciate what this science search engine has to offer.
Note: Search engines change frequently, so the information in this article can and will get outdated as more information or features about science search engine Scirus are released. Be sure to check About Web Search for more updates as they become available.