A starting point to help with your research and coursework in psychology.

Cited Reference Searching

Cited reference searching is a technique for finding articles that cite an article you've already found. Maybe you want to find more articles on the same specific topic, or maybe you want to know whether the article had been accepted or criticized by other researchers. It is a great way to follow the scholarly conversation about a piece of research.

Here are a couple resources that allow you to perform cited reference searching:

  • Web of Science. Web of Science includes a lot of tools to learn more about how an article is being discussed, such as telling you which journals, authors, and disciplines are citing the article in question. You can also see data and graphs showing how often it has been cited over time. Web of Science searches thousands of vetted, high-quality journals to track the scholarly conversation around a research topic.
  • Google Scholar. You can do cited reference searches in Google Scholar by looking up your article and clicking the "Cited by" link underneath it in the list of search results. Google Scholar has a broader scope than Web of Science, but be aware that not every article included in Google Scholar comes from a high-quality scholarly source. Be careful to evaluate research articles that you find here.

Below are some pointers on how to perform cited reference searching to track the scholarly conversations you're interested in, both forward and backward in time.

Basics of Citation Tracking

To track back in time, choose a book or article that seems important, and start looking up the listed references.  Identify a reference that seems central or significant, look it up, then work back to the resources listed in its reference list or footnotes, and so on.

We can get help in this technique from many databases.  For example, in Esearch, look for a link to "references" in the record of some articles. In ProQuest databases, look for the "references cited" or "related articles" links on the right column.

To track forward in time, we need tools that will show us what articles have cited the work we have in hand. Quite a few databases, as well as Esearch, provide such tools, including Web of Science, Google Scholar, and Proquest.  Keep your eye out for the tell-tale "cited by" link.

EMU short video tutorial:  Finding Articles by Tracking Citations

For papers with more than five sources, it is very helpful to keep track of the references you gather using a citation manager such as EndNote or Zotero.

Cited Reference Searching in Web of Science

Guidance from the Web of Science help pages (see the original help pages below)

How to Perform a Cited Reference Search in Web of Science

  1. Enter a last name in the Cited Author field.
  2. Enter a journal title, book title or patent number in the Cited Work field.
  3. Click Search. The search will return entries from the Cited Reference Index that contain the cited author/cited work that you entered.
  4. If you retrieve too many hits, return to the Cited Reference Search page and add search criteria for Cited Year, Cited Volume, Cited Issue, or Cited Page.
  5. Select references and cited reference variations from the Cited Reference Index.
  6. Click Finish Search to go to the Results page. The system retrieves all records of publications that cite the references you selected from the Cited Reference Index.

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