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Use cited reference searches to track use of a publication


Cited references

April 15, 2014 – Cited reference searching can aid in 

  • Finding current publications on a topic
  • Seeking trends in a research field
  • Identifying top researchers in a discipline
  • Tracking the history of a research topic
  • Tracking your own or colleagues research

Databases can locate publications that cite a given work so you can trace how that work is cited after its publication. Cited reference searching will not work well for recently published works; allow author time to cite a work after it is published.

Search results will depend greatly on the database you use; if an article cites a given publication, but the journal that article is published in is not indexed by your chosen database, then that citation will not appear in your search results. No database (including Google Scholar) will index every publication; thus no database will ever give you a complete list of works citing a specified publication.

Different publications will cite the same article differently; you will need to search variations of your author's name and publication title to ensure the best search results. Inconsistencies or outright errors in publication years, volume, and issues should be expected. For some articles, only the first listed author will be indexed. Search by the lead author for best results.

Cited reference searching works best for journal articles, though book citations are beginning to be tracked more often.