Scholars and researchers have always found additional relevant papers by looking at the reference list or bibliography at the conclusion of papers and books.
Citation searching (sometimes called cited reference searching) is based on this method of finding further information. Once you have a useful reference to a book or journal article on the subject you are researching it will allow you to search forward in the published literature. Starting from your known reference you can locate new articles which cite that reference in their reference lists.
This also enables you to take a seminal article and uncover who influenced the author (who was cited) and go forward in time to discover how that seminal research affected newer works (who is citing it), following the development of an idea or theory through the literature.
In summary, citation searching enables you to:
The major citation searching resources are listed below.
While all resources are continually expanding their scope, no one tool provides complete coverage.
Generally, Web of Science and Scopus offer good coverage of the sciences.
Google Scholar also has good coverage of the sciences, but its tools are less robust and there is little quality control. Coverage of the social sciences and humanities, especially where there is more reliance on books, is limited.
More and more databases are now including citation information and will have Cited By or Times Cited links in their article records.
Examples include PsycINFO, Biosis Previews, HeinOnline and PubMed.
Tip: When searching for citations, remember to make use of a Scopus Author ID or ORCID ID.
SciVal allows benchmarking of individual researchers, groups and institutions, as well as existing and potential collaborations:
Free downloadable software connected to Google Scholar, but is much easier to use.