Skip to main content

Chemical Engineering research students: Cited Reference Searching

For Dr. Yu's research students


"Cited Reference Searching" is basically finding articles that "cite" the source article in its references.  Or put another way this enables you to determine approximately how many times an author or a specific publication has been cited in other published works. It is a way to evaluate the impact of an article or author and also a way to do some "forward" searching on a topic. It is "approximate" since there is no perfect or comprehensive method.

For a long time, cited reference searching was only available in Web of Science. It still remains the 'gold standard' and most researchers use the metrics in WoS to support their scholarly research and to apply for funding.

However, there are many more tools available and one of them is Google Scholar.

Results will vary when you search for the same item in both resources for the simple reason that Google Scholar searches a broader universe of information.

Cited Reference Searching in Web of Science

Web of Science includes a helpful tool called a Cited Reference Search.

Begin your search.  You can search a specific author, or article, journal or subject/keyword.

By searching an author you can find all of their articles, and the number of times each article has been cited.  You can then view those citations as well.

Within your results, you can sort by "Times Cited"  This will bring the articles most often cited to the top of the list.

You can also start a cited reference search from any article in the database.  Select any article and click on the "Times Cited" number.  This will give you a list of all the articles (found in Web of Science) that have since cited that specific article.  This information can help you find newer research on the same topic.

Click Create Citation Report to see a graph by year.  This can also help help you determine the importance of the article, and the research it reports, by finding how often it has been cited each year and more.


Web of Science Training Videos

(Thanks to my colleague Cathy Outten for this description)

Cited Reference Searching in Google Scholar

You can search by author, title of item, keywords..  Just like in Google, there is a "Advanced Search."

Conduct your search and then look for the "Cited by" link underneath the record.

Google Scholar search tips

Cited Searching video