Cited reference searching - Library - University of Canterbury

Cited Reference Searching

What is cited reference searching?

Cited reference searching enables you to find articles that have cited a particular author, article or book. Cited reference searching is useful to:

  • find out how research has been applied or developed.
  • identify important articles in a field.
  • locate current research based on earlier research.
  • track your own research.

How can I do a cited reference search?

Use one of the following databases:

Web of Science
Web of Science is one of the most comprehensive citation databases.

  • Web of Science is comprised of three databases: Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index and Art & Humanities Citation Index.
  • Click on Cited Ref Search to find articles that cite a particular author or paper.
  • Use the Citation Report feature to compile citation statistics for search results, including the number of times an article has been cited per year and average number of citations per year.

Scopus is a multidisciplinary database covering sciences and social sciences.

  • Follow the cited by links in the search results. Results can be sorted by the number of times cited.
  • Use the citation tracker feature to find out the number of times an article or author has been cited over a period of time.
  • Select an author search to search for papers by a particular author

Using Scopus to trace the developments in a subject area since a particular article was published
Online tutorial on cited reference searching in Scopus

Google Scholar
Google Scholar search results have a "cited by" link in the search results that can be used to find articles which have referenced a particular paper.

Additional sources

Cited references are becoming a feature on many databases. PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, ScienceDirect and MathSciNet all include cited references.

Citation Alerts

A citation alert notifies you by email when a selected article is cited by another article. Citation Alerts can be set up in Web of Science, Scopus, ScienceDirect and Google Scholar.


If you need help with citation searching, please contact your Subject Librarian