Citation Searching

Find missing citations, track references and find related articles

  • Excellent step-by-step guide for tracking citations using Web of Science to search for your article

Why is this important?

  • Cited Reference Searching guide
  • keeping track of how many times and where a publication is being cited can help you gauge the impact that article has in your discipline
  • if the article has been cited, you may find a link to the citing article/author
  • to locate current research based on earlier research
  • to find out how a particular research topic is being used to support other research
  • to track the history of a research idea
  • to track the research history of a researcher
  • to determine how well your own published research is cited for promotion/tenure considerations
  • don't forget to keep track of your searches! Literature Reviews: Keep Track (UBC)


Web of Science    
       Select Cited Reference Search from top tool bar.
You have the article
          Burstein, P.  2003   "The impact of public opinion on public policy: A review and an agenda."  Political Research Quarterly  Volume: 56   Issue: 1   Pages: 29-40

       Enter the  author in cited author box
               Burstein P*  (use surname, first initial and truncation symbol)          
       Retrieve abbreviation of journal name from list provided, and enter year of publication.  POLIT RES QUART
       Enter cited year: 2003
From the list, select the article and click on Finish Search at the top of the list.
Results show the article has been cited 410 times - the most recent in  2019.
Note the option Create Alert to be notified of any future citing of this article.

       Choose Author Search from top tool bar.
       Enter author's name and affiliation if known
               Onwuegbuzie, Anthony John
       Select displayed result.  All published articles by the author will be listed.  Click on article for citing references.

Onwuegbuzie, Anthony John and Nancy L. Leech,  "Validity and qualitative research: An oxymoron?"  Quality and Quantity  Volume 41, Issue 2, April 2007, Pages 233-249.  This article, published in 2007, has been cited 228 times, the most recent in 2019.

Tips for effective searching

If you find one relevant article for your research it can lead to other relevant papers by the following:

  • using the databases, including Omni, look to find all papers & books published by the author or co-authors
  • explore the bibliography in the paper for sources
  • using Web of Science or Scopus, look for articles that cite the article you found. Remember, some databases will also list citing articles but those lists are limited to the current database. The Web of Science and Scopus are more comprehensive, with coverage from multiple databases. 
  • Remember to see if an citing article has itself been cited.
Content last reviewed: July 10, 2020