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Supporting Research at Murdoch: Citation searching

What is a Citation Search?

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:

  • find out if articles have been cited by other authors
  • discover references to a particular author
  • find more recent papers on the same subject
  • discover how a known idea or innovation has been confirmed, applied, improved, extended or corrected

Which Databases Include Citation Information?

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:

  • gives an overview of the research performance based on output, impact, and collaborations.
  • enables comparison of research institutions and teams to others based on performance metrics.
  • can identify and analyse existing and potential collaboration opportunities, identify suitable collaboration partners, and see who others are collaborating with.
  • Scopus
    includes  cited references from 1996 from the 18,500+ journals which it indexes. See: Scopus - Cited Reference Searching

  • Web of Science
    Enables researchers to track the citations of a known article from 1974 on. Some 12,000 high impact journals are indexed.  See: Web of Science training
  • ProQuest
    The Result List gives the number of times others have cited the article within the ProQuest database 

  • Google Scholar
    Citations found in a Google Scholar search will include a Cited By link.
    There are known to be duplications and misidentifications and careful checking of results is recommended.
    Complete My Citations details to establish an alert. 

Free downloadable software connected to Google Scholar, but is much easier to use.
Available metrics:

See: Harzing's Citation Analysis: From Publication to Impact or User Guide to Publish or Perish.

Research Repository

The Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research created by Murdoch University staff and students.


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