"What do you recommend?", he asked.
I love this kind of question!
Here are five science search engines I think should be in every college (and high school) student's research toolbox:
The search engine Scirus. "With over 545 million scientific items indexed at last count, it allows researchers to search for not only journal content but also scientists' homepages, courseware, pre-print server material, patents and institutional repository and website information."
Google Scholar. "Provides a search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles" (search tips)
Science.gov. USA.gov for Science - Government Science Portal. "Science.gov searches over 55 databases and over 2100 selected websites from 13 federal agencies, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information including research and development results."
WorldWideScience. "A global science gateway comprised of national and international scientific databases and portals."
The National Science Digital Library. "Serving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education". This resource is geared for teachers, but students can tap into this goldmine too!
What would you add to this list?