In my last entry, I talked about cited reference searches.  What are these exactly?

Most people realize that when they find an article that really fits their topic looking at the references listed at the end of article will lead them to more articles which are related to the original topic.  This is a great way to research, but there’s only one problem:  the reference list of a paper will only list other references that are older than the paper itself.  If the paper was published within the last year, then probably the most up-to-date resources are listed, but what if the paper is 5 or 10 years old?

Cited reference searches solve this problem by listing all the articles which have that great paper you’ve already found in their reference lists.  In other words, rather than going back in time from the original paper, you go forward in time.  You end up finding newer material.

Web of Knowledge (formerly Web of Science) was the first database to offer this feature.  Scopus is also well-known for having this feature also.

I have also seen the feature demonstrated in SciFinder and IEEE Xplore.  A quick review of the databases of I suggested earlier reveals cited reference search available in ComDisDome, ACM Digital Library, Environment Complete, MathSciNet, Scitation, and PsycInfo.

Keep in mind that the each database will use slightly different language to describe their cited reference search.  Also some databases only give citing references from their own database and other give citing references from “anywhere.”

Have fun searching!