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Psychology 230B: Research Methods

What is Citation Searching?

Citation Searching typically starts when you have a source in hand. Maybe your professor gave you the source or you found it in a database or Catalyst. Now you have a great source for your research, and you have a (potential) gold mine in that source's bibliography. You should also find out who has cited that source in the months/years since it was published.

How to Citation Search

↜ Go Backward 

Look at the list of references, bibliography, or footnotes to see who was cited by the author(s) of the source you found. You may want to track down some of these sources so that you can:

  1. better understand how the author(s) are interpreting or building upon previous voices
  2. verify the completeness or accuracy of the author(s) interpretation
  3. find additional threads of the conversation to include in your own research

Go Forward 

Use Web of Science and/or Google Scholar to see who else has cited the source you have in hand. This will allow you to:

  1. see if anyone has done more recent research on the topic
  2. better understand how your source fits into the ongoing scholarly conversation 
  3. find new or different threads of conversation to guide your own research

Web of Science

Search Web of Science to find the full text of an article (if available) and get quick access to the sources cited in the article:​

Search Web of Science to find the full text of an article and see who else has cited that article:


Google Scholar

Search Google Scholar to find the full text of an article and also to see who else has cited that source:

Get Books from Other Libraries

If a citation is a book, search for it in WorldCat: