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Who Cited What? An Introduction to Cited Reference Searching

Cited references are the articles, books, and other resources that are listed in the bibliography or works cited page of an individual article or resource. Ciited references are helpful for finding additional resources on a particular topic, identifying top researchers in a field of study, and for decisions regarding faculty tenure. Many universities use cited reference searching as a tool for evaluating the research quality of its faculty members. The main idea regarding the value of conducting this type of search is that authors with higher instances of being cited have made a significant contribution to their academic field.

Citation databases index articles that have been cited in a work, as well as those which have cited the work itself, allowing users to follow the instances where a reference or author has been cited. This technique can help users find out how many times and where a publication is being cited, who is referencing a particular resource, how a particular research topic is used to support other research, as well as track the research of an individual.

The primary online database used for citation reference searching subscribed to by the UA Libraries is Scopus. Scopus covers over 15,000 journals and provides comprhensive coverage of resources published since 1996 and selective coverage of earlier works. In addition to finding out what was cited in a paper or who cited a paper, Scopus also can provide such metrics as: the value of weighted citations per document, differences in the frequency of citation across research fields, total number of citations received by a journal for a given year, total number of documents published by the journal each year, and percentage of documents in that year that have never been cited to date.

For citation searches for works published prior to 1996, please contact the Dewey Reference desk and ask to set up an appointment for a DIALOG search. The reference desk phone number is 442-3691.

CSA Worldwide Political Science Abstracts provides coverage of a wide range of political science journals dating back to 1975. To find citing references, enter the author’s last name and first initial, then select “References��? from the pull down menu.

Another database that facilitates citation reference searching is PsycINFO. This database is a key resource for conducting research within the psychology discipline. To conduct citation reference searching within PsycINFO, type the author’s last name and first initial, then select “Author��? from the pull down menu. At the end of each citation is a Citing Articles button. Click this button at the bottom of each record, which will locate articles that cite the record.

Other social science databases that provide citation reference searching include:

Academic Search Complete: To search for cited references, click on “Cited References��? on the blue menu bar.

ScienceDirect: For cited references, select “Advanced Search��?, then search author or title within “References��?.

Sociological Abstracts: For cited references, use “Advanced Search��? to select “References, RE=��?, in the right-hand pull-down list.

Be aware however, that these databases only track citations within their own indexed holdings, and may not be as comprehensive as Scopus or the Social Sciences Citation Index, available in print through 2007 at Social Science Citation Index: Dewey Library / Reference H 1 Z999 S63 or by requesting a DIALOG search.

For additional assistance and information on citation reference searching, as well as help with make the most of Scopus and other resources, please contact Elaine Bergman. She can be reached by email at mailto:ebergman@uamail.albany.edu or by calling 442-3695. You can also visit Citation Searching at UA Libraries for more information.

Blog post created by Matthew Laudicina and Elaine Bergman