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Citation Searching: Home

Finding newer articles that cite known, older articles.

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Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources

Please see our Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources (last revised Aug. 2013).


One way to understand how knowledge is advanced is by looking at networks of citations. A recent article's bibliography lists older articles the authors have consulted, leading to articles on a similar subject. Articles that have been cited repeatedly were key to advancing knowledge in their field. Citation analysis includes counting citations in a set of journals to look for these key articles. These help determine who the critical researchers are and where they are working.

Reading and counting citations in bibliographies allows us to look backwards, but it is possible to work forwards by seeing who has cited older articles. This approach began in the 1960s and continues to this day.

There are also new communications media today, like websites, blogs, and Twitter. "Altmetrics" is a new way to measure impact by monitoring mentions of research in these media and also looking at numbers of article and report downloads from websites.

Understanding Citation Analysis Video

This 9:39 video is from Jean Bedord, faculty member at the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science for one of their classes.  It covers background and methods for Google Scholar and Web of Science.  We do not provide ProQuest Dialog.