Forward & Backward Searching: Using Citation Searches for Literature Reviews


Forward and backward searching: Using citation
searches for literature reviews In this tutorial, we will define citation
searching and bibliographic mining, and we”ll we”ll show how these techniques contribute to a
literature review. We’ll experiment with citation searching using a variety of databases. Think about research article you find as part
of an ongoing conversation among researchers. That research article represents one researcher’s
ideas and findings at a given point in time. Citation searching allows you to use that
article to trace the history of an idea both backwards and forwards in time. Using the strategies we demonstrate in this
tutorial, you’ll find additional resources for your literature review. Let’s begin with bibliographic mining. You may already be using this strategy. When you review the reference list at the
end of an article and find additional resources that interest you, this is called bibliographic
mining. These articles will be older than the article
you have in hand. This technique is sometimes called backward
searching because you are looking into the past, and finding sources of information
that influenced or contributed to the author’s work in some way. Some ProQuest and EBSCO databases include
the Cited References in the results list view. These will link you directly to the articles
in the original article’s bibliography. If you have an article that does not have
a cited references feature, you may use [email protected] to locate the articles on its reference list. For the most results, be sure to sign in and
click the “Search Beyond UWW” button. You may have to search for the article in
a number of databases, or you might also try Google Scholar along with the Find It at UW-W
link. What about more recent research? Forward searching allows you to find
newer sources on your topic that build on your original article. When you forward search, you begin with an
article. Then look for links in the database that say
cited by, cited reference, or times cited The results list shows books or articles that have included your original article in their bibliographies. When searching for articles in [email protected],
some, but not all, may have one or both of these icons. One indicates Find sources citing this,
that is, forward searching. The other indicates Find sources cited
in this, that is, find sources in its bibliography. Some other Andersen Library databases have
a Times Cited in this Database link in the results view. Here are a few more examples of what to look
for. Google Scholar results sometimes have two
cited by links – one that counts the citations included in Scholar’s database,
the other that counts the citations in the Web of Science database. You’ll notice that one article’s cited
by number will be slightly different in every place we check that’s because
each search tool can only count the citations that it contains in its own database. Using a cited reference search, you can learn
how research has been confirmed, improved, corrected, applied, or extended. Citation Searching can be a clue as to how
influential or important an article is. Usually, the higher the number of sources
in the Cited By or Times Cited list, the greater the impact the original
source has made on the field. Often, being highly cited is an indication
of high quality, but not always. A particular idea or article might be highly
controversial, or one author might cite an article to refute another author’s findings
or methods. Without reviewing the articles citing the
original source, you may not see that the methodology or conclusions are being challenged. Just because an article hasn’t been cited
doesn’t mean it won’t be notable. The article might simply be too new to have
been cited, or it might not even be very notable. As you dive deeper into your literature review,
consider employing the search strategies of bibliographic mining and citation searching. It can help you understand the ongoing conversation
around a research topic. Don’t hesitate to contact the library with
any questions!

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