Cited Reference Searching

What is cited reference searching?

A simple and useful way of finding additional resources on your topic is to track citations backwards and forwards. 

  • Find a useful paper, check the reference list (these papers will have been published BEFORE your paper), AND
  • Find a useful article and check who has cited it (these papers will have been published AFTER your paper).

Cited reference searching, or citation analysis, also called citation tracking, is a way of measuring the relative importance or impact or an author, article, or publication, by counting the number of times that author, article, or publication has been cited by other works.

There are a number of tools available; however, no single database covers all works that cite other works. Searching across several databases is necessary to ensure complete coverage.

Why is this important?

  • keeping track of how many times and where a publication is begin cited can help you gage the impact that article has in your discipline
  • if the article has been cited, the database will provide 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


Use our main search tool, OMNI to do cited reference searching.  Click on these icons    to either "find sources cited in this" OR "find sources citing this".

Use our Cited Reference Searching page to find out which of the big databases allow you to do this and how to do this.

A few other databases allow for this as well:

Content last reviewed: January 26, 2021