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Citation Searching

Introduction to using citations as a method of searching for new content instead of subject/keyword searches.

Click to perform a Cited Reference Search in
Web of Science Cited Reference Searching

How to search by citations: Cited Reference searching in Web of Science

To identify articles that have cited a particular paper or book, follow these steps for performing a cited reference search:

   1. Select the Cited References tab and select the fields to search:


2. Because citations in reference lists are often incorrectly cited, it’s important to search with as little information as possible, such as author name and cited work:

Cited Author: Enter the first author, last name first, followed by a space, the first initial, and the truncation symbol (asterisk): gould s*. Another option is to click on Select from Index to browse the author index, and then transfer your selected cited author(s) to the Cited Author field on the search page.

Cited Work: For a journal title, use the list provided (click on View abbreviation list) to find the correct abbreviation. For journals, along with books and other publications, browse Select from Index, remembering to look for variations in the abbreviated title (include all variation in the search). When using these indexes, click on the Add icon beside the abbreviation to search, then click on the Add to Query button at the bottom of the page to add the selections to the search page.

Cited Title: Searches the full title, a partial title, or one or more individual terms from the title.

Cited Year(s): The cited year is one of the most commonly incorrect parts of a citation. Do not search by cited year unless it is absolutely necessary to narrow the search.

Cited DOI:  Searches the DOI field of the cited journals.

Cited Volume: It is recommended to limit the use of cited volume, as it may limit possible citation variations relevant to your search.

Cited Issue: It is recommended to limit the use of issue, as it may limit possible citation variations relevant to your search.

Cited Pages: May include numbers (e.g. C231 or 2832) or Roman numerals (e.g. XVII). Use the starting page of a publication (not the page ranges). It is recommended to limit the use of page, as it may limit possible citation variations relevant to your search.


3. Click on Search.

4. From the list provided, select all those that might be the citation in question.


Look for variations in the cited author name, cited work, volume number, the page number, and the year to identify an incorrectly cited article:

All three of these “variations” refer to the same article. The second citation, with 23 citing works, is the correct one. (Because it is one of the source articles contained in SCI, it is linked to that source record.)

5. To the left of each citation, there is a box to Select the reference. Click the box next to each citation that is correct or that seems to be referring to the correct citation. (If all that is needed is the number of times a given article was cited, simply add up the number of hits for all relevant variations.)

6. Click on the See Results button to find the articles that cited the article in the years selected in step 4.

7. If desired after searching, refine results from the options (languages, document types, etc.) from the left side menu.

To find cited references for years earlier than SCI, use the print version of SCI (located in the Reference Collection), which goes back to 1955. The Mulford Library does not have back issues of SSCI in print. The Carlson Library on Main campus and Bowling Green State University are the closest libraries with SSCI in print.