Sometimes Google doesn’t give you what you’re looking for and you have to find other resources to help you carry out your book research. That’s one scenario. Another is that you are doing research for the gruesome murder mystery or sexual thriller you are writing and you don’t want that sort of Internet history associated with your account. Here’s a list of alternative research platforms, including some that ensure your work is kept private.


Duck Duck Go

Are you afraid that all those searches you are doing while researching for your murder mystery will get the attention of the feds? Or do you just want to keep your work private, away from the prying algorithms of Google, Bing and their sisters?   Then try DuckDuckGo. It’s a search engine that does not track your activities or sell your data to advertisers. 



It is marketed as ‘the world’s most private search engine.’ Startpage is another alternative if you want to search without being monitored. It is a free and simple way to take control of your online privacy and it enables you to conduct searches without being tracked by cookies or trackers. One of their tools is a Chrome plugin so that if you still want to use Google, you can do so while protecting your privacy.



Ever wondered what the search results would look like if you brought the biggest search engines in the world together? DogPile is the answer to your question. It aggregates results from Google, Yahoo! Bing, Yandex, and other popular search engines.



Looking for images, illustrations, videos, music, and other media you can use for your project without breaking any copyright laws? Openverse (formerly CC Search)  was designed to help creators do just that. Use this search engine to browse over 600 million items you can reuse for free.

This US government website searches over 60 databases and over 2,200 scientific websites giving results from more than 200 million pages of authoritative federal science information including research and development results.



What resources can you find inside the world’s libraries? This website searches through the contents   – a search for the contents of over 10 thousand worldwide libraries. Looking for rare books, documents, speeches, etc? This is a good place to begin.


Internet Archive

This is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, news items, software, music, websites, and more. Their famous Wayback Machine has archives of over 64 billion web pages, stretching back over 20 years.



Are you thinking of using a name in your story but are not sure if it’s a registered or not? Aside from offering trademark registration services, Trademarkia is the world’s largest database for trademarks, covering over 170 countries.


Wolfram Alpha

How many calories are there in 17 peanuts? What is the tracheal tube size for 5 year old, 42 in tall, 45 lb? Wolfram Alpha answers questions. According to it’s makers, the thing that sets it apart “is that it is able to do sophisticated computations for you, both pure computations involving numbers or formulas you enter, and computations applied automatically to data called up from its repositories.” Normal search engines deliver a list of sites that potentially answer your search query. Wolfram Alpha answers enquiries directly by curating material from external sources or using math logic.


Literary Marketplace

Find publishers of a particular subject and/or type of publication. Find every book publisher in a specific city, state, or even postal ZIP code beginning with the same two or three digits. These are just two of the customized searches you can carry out on ITI’s Literary Marketplace which indexes results from the world’s largest database of the book publishing industry.



Founded in 1883, InLibris has a catalog of more than 50,000 items and has one of the largest non-institutional, privately owned repositories of rare books, historical manuscripts and autographs.

Team VoW
Author: Team VoW

Valley of Writers provides resources, tools, ideas and training for new writers. We work with a writers and contributors based around the world. Our primary focus is to equip new writers with skills to help them reach new audiences and achieve their goals.

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