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Cultural Studies

A selective guide to resources in Cultural Studies at Queen's University Library

Citation Searching in the Humanities & Social Sciences

Citation searching, also know as cited reference searching, is a search for other articles that have made reference to a particular book, article, or author. Citation searching will help you find similar research and find out how important a work is to your research.

A citation search will show you who has mentioned your article, where, and how many times. It will allow you to search forward in the published literature, starting from your known reference, to locate new articles which cite your known reference in their bibliographies.

When conducting a cited reference search, be aware that:

  • search results depend on the content of the database and what is indexed
  • entries in citation databases are not usually edited but reflect the form of the author's name and cited works as appeared in print
  • for some articles, only the first author may be indexed
  • citation reference searching works best for tracking citations in periodical articles and not as well for books, book chapters and other published works

Web of Science
Web of Science is a citation database comprised of Social Science Citation Index, Science Citation Index, and Arts and Humanities Citation Index and therefore covers all subjects. To Search: 

Click on the arrow next to "Basic Search," and then select "Cited Reference Search" in the drop-down menu. Enter information about the article you want to track. The most efficient way to search is to enter the author's name in the first box (last name first and first initial). In the next search box, enter the abbreviation of the name of the journal. You can find the abbreviation by clicking on "View abbreviation list" below the search box. Finally, enter the year the article was published in the last box. Then click "Search." For more information, the Training Portal from Web of Science has a variety of helpful tutorials (click on Training Options - View Tutorials). 

Google Scholar
Google Scholar allows you to freely search for scholarly information on the web.

To find cited references, search your original title then follow the Cited By links.  Cited By identifies all articles, books and other sources that cite your original article within Google Scholar. Clicking on the Related Articles link will bring up a list of references to other documents that are similar to the cited article.

EBSCOHost Databases
The following databases provide cited reference searching: Academic Search Complete, America History and Life, Business Source Premier, CIHAHL, Education Source, Environment Complete, GreenFILE, Historical Abstracts, LGBT Life, Music Index. 

To search: Select Cited References from the blue bar at the top of the screen of the database search page. Enter as much information as your have: author, title of publication, source, date.  If link not present, select More > Cited References near the top and conduct your search. From the results screen, select the checkbox(es) for the item(s) you are interested in, and click Find Citing Articles.

Alternately, you can run your search in Basic or Advanced Search.  The Times Cited in this Database link in your search results presents a list of articles in the specific database that cite your original article. 

JSTOR does not actually have a cited reference search but it does have a “Track Citation” feature.  To use this first create a JSTOR account including your email address. Perform your search and from the results, check the box next to the citation your want to track. Click Track Citation link.  If that item is cited in JSTOR you will be notified.

ProQuest Databases

Many of the subject specific databases available through the ProQuest interface provide cited references. 
To search:
Select 'Cited by' link on the search results list or in the item record, if available.

More Information

Consult the Library's guide to Citation Searching.