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Citation Mining

What is Citation Mining?

Citation mining occurs when you find a relevant, useful item you can use to find more resources.  All you need is one good article or book to begin.​

Ways to mine citations:

  • Find more resources written by the same author or published in the same journal.
  • Move backward:  Review the one good article's References page for additional relevant works that may expand your search.  In other words, consult the sources that your one good article consulted.
  • Move forward:  Use a website like Google Scholar to see who has cited the one good article.  This is especially useful when you have an older article and you are seeking ne



Look at the reference list or bibliography of an article/book that you read that you found relevant and useful. Chances are, several of the resources cited by the authors will also be of interest to you.

Depending on whether or not the CORE Library has access to the resource you are looking for, you may need to try more than one of the below steps to get your resource.

  1. Search for the first author's last name and most or all of the article/book title in a CORE Library advanced search box
  2. Search for the journal title in the "Journal and eBooks" tab on an advanced search results page.
    1. If you find the journal, navigate to the year / volume / issue of your article.
  3. If you do not find the journal, repeat your first search in Google Scholar or simply in Google. While you may not find the full-text of the article, chances are you'll find the journal's website and can review the list of references for that article, and repeat these techniques.

Feel free to ask the CORE Library for more help.

Thanks to the TRU Library at Thompson Rivers University for these search tips.

PlumX Metrics

Databases run by EBSCO have a purple star attached to articles that indicates how that article has been used. Follow the link and click on "Citations" to see other articles that have cited this one. The other "metrics" (social media, captures, and usage) are other ways of measuring how people use articles.

Google Scholar

Because Google Scholar has such a large number of articles, the "cited by" tool is particularly strong. Search for your article in Google Scholar and look for the "cited by" link to get a list of articles.

PubMed Central

If you've found an article in PubMed Central, look for the "cited by", typically contained within a yellow box, to see what other articles in the PMC have cited the one you seek.

Keep in mind...

  • Recently published articles will not have been cited as often as older articles.
  • These tools are not entirely comprehensive; some articles may be excluded.
  • These tools work best for articles; books and media citations are not as well-indexed or easily searchable.

A particular author may have written many articles and/or books on a topic that interests you. Search in the CORE Library, Google Scholar, or the database you are in for their name and limit to "author" to find these publications. You may have to try different variations of their name. For example, if you wanted to find all the articles written by NIcholas A. Cummings, you might have to try:

  • Nicholas A Cummings
  • N. A. Cummings
  • Cummings, NIcholas


If a journal title catches your eye, you can search or browse through the journal to find relevant articles, known as "handsearching." Search for the title of the journal under the "Journals and eBooks" tab of any search results page.  You will be able to browse titles of articles in specific issues, and often you can search within the journal for your keywords.

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