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Who Has Cited a Publication

how to find, connect, use

Citation databases make it possible to search cited references; that is, they search for references that are listed in the bibliographies of research publications. Users can follow a particular cited reference, or cited author, forward in time to find other articles that have also cited that author or work.

Cited references may be useful for a number of reasons:

  • locating current research based on earlier research, patents, reports, etc.
  • finding how many times and where a publication is being cited
  • identifying who is referencing a particular paper
  • exploring how a particular research topic is being used to support other research
  • analyzing the impact of a publication on other research in the field
  • tracking the history of a research idea
  • tracking the research of a colleague, or keeping track of your own research

The following multidisciplinary and disciplinary specific databases permit citation searching:

Web of Science (Science Citation Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index)
ScienceDirect (mainly science -- however, much social science material also)
Google Scholar

Disciplinary Specific:
Psychology (PsycINFO)
Sociology (Sociological Abstracts)
Political Science (Worldwide Political Science Abstracts)
Business (Business Source Premier)
Communication (Communication & Mass Media Complete)
Mathematics (MathSciNet)
Chemistry (SciFinder Scholar)
Physics (INSPEC)

Web of Science

The ISI Web of Science interface provides access to the Science Citation Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index databases. It enables users to search current and retrospective multidisciplinary information from approximately 8,500 of the most prestigious, high impact research journals in the world. ISI Web of Science also provides a unique search method, i.e. cited reference searching. With it, users can find out what publications have cited other publications.


The best way to learn how to conduct cited reference searching utilizing these three databases is to view the following tutorials:



Full text access to over 1000 journals in the sciences and social sciences published by Elsevier and other journal publishers.

Method of Searching:

  • Click Search
  • Click All Sources
  • Type in Author's Name (select Authors in drop-down box at right) -- click Search
  • Click Summary Plus of article
  • Select Cited By (at right)
  • A listing of citing articles will appear 
  • If no one has cited the article the message "No articles were found that cite this article" will appear

Another strategy: on the All Sources search screen type in the author w/15 title of work and select References from drop-down box at right.


Google Scholar

After performing a search, the results frequently include links to citing references, that is articles and documents that have cited the document originally searched for.

Method of Searching:

  • Go to Advanced Search. Type name of author in Author box. Also include other identifying information (such as the title) in one or more of the other search boxes.
  • Results may include your citation together with the times that it has been cited according to Google Scholar.
  • Click on a link "Cited by ??" to retrieve a list of those who have cited the work.

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Google has an ambitious book digitization project, Google Search Book. This is a plan to digitize the full-text of millions of books at a small number of major libraries in the US and the UK. When a book is digitized there will be access to the full-text of only pre-1923 monographs, that is works in the US public domain. For post-1923 books only brief excerpts (typically three pages) will be accessible to the user – this is in keeping with copyright law. (However, lawsuits are brewing by certain publishers and authors who contend that the project will adversely affect their interests).

Some may find Google Book Search useful for locating cited references. 

Method of Searching:

Click on the Advanced Search link. Type (for example) John L Mahoney in the Exact Phrase box. The phrase John L Mahoney was found on over 900 pages in over 40 books. A brief perusal seemed to show that most of these referred to the English Dept.’s Prof. Mahoney. You may see the dust jacket or book cover of the retrieved books on the left of the entry. And one may click on the link(s) to see the actual pages where the phrase John L. Mahoney was found. In some cases access is restricted. This may be because a publisher placed some sort of embargo on Google displaying the full-text of even a small number of pages. Of course, the results of this search only indicate the occurrence of “John L Mahoney” in books already digitized and made available by Google – presumably still a relatively small number. And it is most probable that “John L Mahoney” is mentioned on more than 900+ pages of the world’s books. Moreover, Prof. Mahoney will be mentioned other than as John L Mahoney, e.g. Mahoney, John Mahoney, J. L. Mahoney, Dr. Mahoney etc. But doing a search for just Mahoney will potentially retrieve a vast number of hits, most of which will have nothing with do with John L Mahoney. Still, on the Advanced Search page one can limit one’s search in a variety of ways, by TITLE, by PUBLISHER, by DATE, by ISBN etc. has a Search Inside!™ feature whereby one can search millions of pages to find occurrences of a word or phrase – or indeed a cited reference. Search Inside! results are displayed interspersed with the standard results. It is important to remember, however, that only a small proportion of the books in Amazon’s database participate in this feature.

Method of Searching:

Let's say that you're interested in finding books that have the phrase "Michael J Himes". Just like any other search, simply type "Michael J Himes" in the Search box and click Go! You'll get a list of the books that contain that term in the author's name, the book's title, or in the book's text. Books participating in Amazon’s Search Inside! program (again, only a small proportion) with "Michael J Himes" in their text will show an excerpt with the search term highlighted. To see all references to "Michael J Himes." within a participating book, click the "See more references to Michael J Himes in this book" link. To see the page containing the excerpt, simply click the page number.

PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts


PsychINFO provides abstracts and citations to the scholarly literature in the behavioral sciences and mental health. Includes material of relevance to psychologists and professionals in related fields such as psychiatry, management, business, education, social science, neuroscience, law, medicine, and social work.

Sociological Abstracts contains abstracts and indexes of the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,800+ serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts includes citations and abstracts of the international serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration and public policy. Over 1400 titles are monitored for coverage.

The methods of searching for cited references are the same for all three databases. Let's search, for example, the PsycINFO database.

Method of Searching:

  • On the Advanced Search screen one may combine search term(s) with References, RE= in the pull-down menu. For example,
  • Search for an author or authors, e.g.: re=(Kanwisher)
  • Search for a publication year, e.g.: re=(2000)
  • Search for a specific publication, e.g.: re=(Journal of Neuroscience)
  • Search for a publisher, e.g.: re=(Cambridge University Press)

One may combine the above searches in the one search.

When constructing your search strategy, please keep in mind the large size of the references field and the numerous citations that one references field could possibly contain. A search for a specific author and publication year in the references field could easily retrieve false hits. For example, a search for re=(costa and 1985) could retrieve the name Costa from citation number two and the 1985 publication date from citation number twelve.

The use of proximity operators in your search strategy can help to eliminate false hits. Incorporate proximity operators into your search strategy to ensure that a search containing two or more separate data elements only retrieves relevant citations, e.g.: re=(Costa) within 12 (1985). Still, caution is advised.

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Business Source Premier, Communication and Mass Media Complete

Business Source Premier contains 3,050 full text scholarly journals and business periodicals covering management, economics, finance, accounting, and international business. Communication & Mass Media Complete indexes more than 500 titles, including 200+ full text, covering communication and mass media (both scholarly and professional), as well as titles in film studies, language and linguistics, education, and speech disorders.

One may search for cited references in the above two EBSCOhost databases:

Method of Searching:

  • Click the Cited References link in the right-hand frame. The Cited References Screen appears.
  • Enter search terms in the Cited Author, Cited Title, Cited Source, Cited Year or All Citation Fields fields. Then click Search.
  • Cited References - From the Cited References Search Screen, the Cited References sub-tab presents a list of citation records for the search terms you entered.
  • Citing Articles - From the Cited References sub-tab, you can mark check boxes; then click Find Citing Articles and retrieve a list of Citing Articles.



MathSciNet is a comprehensive database covering the world's mathematical literature. It provides web access to reviews and bibliographic data of mathematical research publications from the Mathematical Review database.

Method of Searching:

Citation searching using the References pull-down option is available from Basic Search and Full Search. The References option allows users to enter a word or phrase and search throughout the reference lists contained in MathSciNet. The wildcard (*) can be used to broaden the search. One may also use ISO Latin encoded accented characters in searching.


contemp* math
Graham, r

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SciFinder Scholar

SciFinder Scholar provides online access to the complete Chemical Abstracts database, 1907 - present. Chemical Abstracts covers the world's literature of chemistry and related fields. All types of literature are indexed, including journal articles, books, patents, technical reports, conference papers, electronic resources, etc.

Method of Searching:

  • Click on Author Search.
  • Type in Author's Name.
  • Choose what are the most appropriate name(s) and click Get References.
  • From the results list select the record(s) you wish to find cited sources for and click Get Related.
  • Click on Citing References at the next window.

A more detailed overview of the searching process is available here.



INSPEC is the world's largest bibliographic database focusing on physics, electrical engineering and electronics, computer and control engineering and information technology. The database is international in scope and gives access to literature of many types, including books, journal articles, conference proceedings, dissertations, technical reports, etc., from 1969 - present. The Web of Science interface provides citation and related records linking for many references.

Method of Searching:

  • Perform a search
  • From the Full Record page, click the Citing Articles button to access the Citing Articles page in Web of Science, which lists articles that cite the one you are viewing in INSPEC.
  • For a more detailed overview see the INSPEC Tutorial


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