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Finding Scientific Articles > Cited Reference Search

How to create an efficient research strategy

Why Search by Citation?

Cited reference search can find documents that cite a known article.

  • The articles citing a given article often discuss the same topic or a related one, in addition to providing more recent developments in the field.
  • This way of searching provides for following up on the evolution of a research subject.
  • A large number of citations shows that the article contents has often been used by other researchers.

Are articles with more citations always more important than those with fewer citations? No! Numerous factors can influence the number of citations received by an article (date of publication, language, field of research, etc.). Many of the most-cited cited articles discuss experimental methods or software.

For more information on the relationship between citations and the impact of research, see the guide Promoting Your Research Activities.

Cited Reference Search in Google Scholar

How to find citing documents in Google Scholar:

  • Perform a search (preferably by using the exact title of a document);
  • In the list of results, click on "Cited by X" to obtain the list of citing documents.

Attention!!! Although Google Scholar usually finds more citations than Web of Science, not all documents retrieved by Google Scholar are reliable, scientific sources. In addition, some citations are duplicates or false citations (e.g., the article was mentioned in a lesson plan). You should analyze the citing documents to see if they are useful to you.

Cited Reference Search in Web of Science

How to find citing documents in Web of Science:

  • Perform a search (by the title of a known article, by keywords, or by author, etc.);
  • In the list of results, click on the number next to "Times Cited" to display the list of citing documents.

Citation Report

It is possible to obtain citation statistics from a search results list. On the results page, click "Create Citation Report" in the upper right corner.

Detailed Cited Reference Search

On the Web of Science home page, choose the "Cited Reference Search". This type of search finds the different ways in which a reference has been written in the reference lists and all the citations for these variants. For more details on this search mode, consult the Clarivate Analytics help page.

Citation Alerts

It is possible to create citation alerts in Web of Science and Google Scholar, in order to be automatically notified when an article is cited.

To learn more about citation alerts, consult the guide Keeping Up-to-date: Current Awareness.