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Writing: Literature Reviews for Culminating Project

Hansel and Gretel

Make like Hansel and Gretel ... follow the resource breadcrumbs!

When you've found relevant and useful resources, use citation mining to discover more.

  • Look at the reference lists in resources you've already found to discover the sources those authors used.
  • Find out who has cited the sources that you find most relevant.

Cited reference searching is available in many databases that index as well as Google Scholar.  Cited reference searching is the ability to search for other articles that cite a certain article.

Cited reference searching should have a search strategy broad enough to allow for the following pitfalls.

  • Search results depend on the content in the database. If a journal that cited a particular work is not indexed by the database, then a reference to your work will not appear in your search results. Check to see which databases index journals that cover your topic.
  • Search all permutations of the cited author's name: last name; last name and first initial; last name, first and middle initials.
  • For some articles, only the first author may be indexed. If someone is the second or third author, remember you should also search by the lead author to locate the cited references.
  • Journals use different formats for articles cited. Beware of inconsistency in citation format such as misspellings, incorrect years or volume numbers. Citation databases and indexes are minimally edited.
  • Cited reference searching works best for references to periodical articles. 
  • If you locate only a few or no cited references to an article, consider whether the research may be too recent.

To search by cited references ...

  • Locate an article that you'd like to know if anyone else has cited.
  • Look to see if the database offers Cited References. (Note:  this option only appears when you are in one specific database as it's not offered in all of the CORE databases.)   You may have to go hunting for it.  Be a fearless clicker on the navigation bar!

  • Use that function to search by author to see if the work has been cited anywhere else.  You may have to mark checkboxes next to titles in results list and click Find Citing Articles.
  • PubMed and Google Scholar both offer cited reference searching.
    • For PubMed:

      • Enter author’s name
      • Click specific title in result list
      • An abstract will appear. To the right of the abstract see Cited By # PubMed Central Articles
      • See list of articles in the PubMed Central database that have cited the original author’s article
    • For Google Scholar:

      • Enter author’s name and title if available
      • Within results, click on Cited By link

For More Information ...

Visit the CORE Library's Research Guide devoted to citation mining techniques.