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One way to locate sources for your research is to use keyword searching. Another way is to search for citations.
Citation searching is useful when you want to analyze literature in a way that keyword or subject searching does not allow, such as when you are exploring a new area of study and are either studying the current state of research in that area or are still learning the language of the topic.
Citation searching is good for:
There are limitations to searching citations:
The first step in most citation searches is to locate a starting article or author. For many students, a great place to find a starting article is on your syllabus. You can also Read for Citations.
Citation mining is a term used by expert searchers to describe the act of using citations to locate additional articles related to a research topic. Citation mining helps you find literature from other literature!
Forward Citation Search: A search to find all of the articles that cite back to a specific article. This search looks forward in time to see how this article contributed to the scholarly conversation.
Backward Citation Search: A search to find all of the cited references in a single article. This search looks backwards in time to see what led to the article you start with.
Author Citation Search: A search to find all articles by an author or group of authors.
Did you know? Web of Science was the first tool that was really built to perform this type of search. Today, this feature is available on many platforms.
Not all databases can do a forward and backward citation search, but most will let you search by an author name. Here are examples from a few of the databases that can perform this type of search:
Noble, S. U. (2013). Google Search: Hyper-visibility as a Means of Rendering Black Women and Girls Invisible. InVisible Culture: Issue 19.
Once you click on the "Cited by ____" you can perform an additional keyword search by checking off this box under the search bar: "Search within citing articles."
Use the Advance Search form or type "author:"
Web of Science offers many different pathways to perform all types of citation searches. You can pull a report of forward looking citations using the "Cited Reference Search," or look up the starting article first, and select forward or backward citations from one place.
Cooke, Nicole A., et al. “Social Justice as Topic and Tool: An Attempt to Transform an US Curriculum and Culture.” Library Quarterly, vol. 86, no. 1, Jan. 2016, pp. 107–24. doi:10.1086/684147.
Use this search if you want to see forward and backward looking citations from one screen.
Cited references are linked on the right side of the screen under "Citation Network."
Use this search if you want to pull all forward looking citations for an individual article. It can also be used to pull all cited references for an individual author. This is a two-step search. First, enter the information you have about the citation into the form. The second screen will ask you to select potential variations in the system to confirm the article is correct. This helps account for typos or errors in the way people may have cited the article.
This is a new feature that will create an automated list of all articles in Web of Science for an author. Click on the "Author Search" tab, and enter what you know about the author's name. You will be brought to a second screen where you can select all the variations for this name in Web of Science. After you confirm the list, the next screen will be a list of all articles for that author.
IEEE offers a citation search option as well as forward/backward citation indexing. Forward looking citations are limited to other articles within the IEEExplore platform.
J. A. Leydens, "What does professional communication research have to do with social justice? Intersections and sources of resistance," 2012 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, Orlando, FL, 2012, pp. 1-13, doi: 10.1109/IPCC.2012.6408592.
From the main search box, select "Citation Search."
Each article has cited references, the backward citation search, listed in the individual article record menu. If there are forward looking citations found, there will also be a "Citations" link.
In IEEExplore, you can click on any author name in a list of search results, and you will be brought to a page summarizing their work. Alternatively, you can search for an author by selecting "Author" from the main search drop-down menu.
SocINDEX is a database available on the EBSCO platform. This search will look the same across the EBSCO platform.
Note: Not every record will show the citation links.
If there is an index for the bibliography, or the forward-looking citations, there will be a link to a list of the bibliography for each article.
The second record in this image has the citation links and the first does not.
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