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Web of Science

Cited Reference Searching

What is Cited Reference Searching?

  • Cited Reference Searching allows you to "go forward in time" from a book or article you know to newer books or articles which have cited your original source since it has been published.
  • Normally you look at the end of a book or article for the references cited, all of which have been published earlier than the piece you are reading.

  • For example, when I read Keith Basso's "Portraits of The Whiteman" which was published in 1979, all works cited are dated 1979 or earlier than 1979. 

  • However, if I want to know who has cited Basso's work since it has been published, I will use the "Cited Reference" searching approach.

NOTE:  Of all databases (including Google Scholar) Web of Science offers the most advanced search options for cited and related reference searching, with a wide range of filters.
Why Use Cited Reference Searching?
  • To establish the impact of a given book or article

  • The more often it's been cited the more "important" it is

  • To find a series of related works that update (rather than predate) the work I know.

  • To investigate the intellectual history of an idea, method or scientific approach. The assumption is that if an author cites a given work, they are engaging with at least one idea in that work. Thus we can follow a thread of research or reasoning by doing a cited reference search.

  • For example in "Portraits..." Basso explores joking in intercultural encounters. By finding out who has cited this work, I can find more recent works on this subject.

Many databases the library offers allow for Cited Reference Searching:

  • Always use the "Advanced" search form and check the search options in the drop-down menu

  • Often there is a "Reference" option that will allow you to search for references cited

Databases for Thesis writers:

More search tips:

  • In full text databases such as Project Muse and JSTOR search for an author or a specific work by putting parentheses around the name or title. Examples: "Karl Marx" or "Critique of Pure Reason"

  • Using parentheses (" ") around titles of works will also give you better results when searching for references in other databases.

Access Google Scholar from the Google Scholar tab on our main Search & Discover page. Do a keyword or author and title search. As you get a results list from Google Scholar you will see Cited By and Related Articles links under each article entry.