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Library Tutorials: Find Forward Citations

Tutorials covering library processes and technology.

What are "Forward Citations"?

Usually, you look at the references that an author included when they wrote a particular piece. This is "backward citation searching" because you will only find references that were written and published BEFORE the piece you're reading.

"Forward citation searching" allows you to see which things written AFTER the piece you're reading include your piece among their references.


Forward Citations for BOOKS

If your classic work is a book or a chapter of a book, you might be better off using

Google Scholar

  • Type in the last name of your author and the title of the classic work you're using
  • Look for the link to your classic work
  • Beneath the link, it will often (but not always) say "Cited by __"
  • Your new search should say the name of your classic work at the top of the list of results.
  • If you have many results and you searched for the title of the book, you can try searching within your results for the chapter title.

Most likely, chapters of books will not appear as separate entries, so you'll have to sort out whether the Citing Work is really referring to your chapter or to some other part of the book.

Google scholar will often give you a link if Earlham has full-text access to the thing you're interested in. If not, you can try searching the catalog for books or entering the name of the journal into the "Find it @ Earlham Libraries" form to see if we have it and what database it is a part of.

Forward Citations for Scholarly ARTICLES

Web of Knowledge (click this link)

Web of Knowledge in an indexing tool that will help you find works that cite your classic work, when your classic work is an article that appeared in the scholarly literature indexed by WoK. Web of Knowledge is unique because it is an interdisciplinary index - it indexes science, social science, and arts & humanities scholarly journals.

Searching reminders for Web of Knowledge:

  • Follow their instructions on entering your author's name
  • Search within the results, if necessary to limit the results
  • Find the work you're interested in, click on it
  • Click the Citing Works link on the right hand side

As you find articles that seem promising, you can check the box to add them to your list of "Marked Records" and then review that list at the end of your session. You can export the list, print it, or just cut and paste it into a Word doc.

Because Web of Knowledge does not tell you if Earlham has full-text access, you have to use your list of promising articles to search for them. The best way to search for an article is to enter the journal name into the "Find It @ Earlham Libraries" form  to see if we have it and what database it is part of.

Web of Knowledge does not index ALL possible relevant journals. It often doesn't show all cited references to books or book chapters. You may need to use other databases to get a comprehensive search. Some other databases, including PsycINFO, Ebsco Business Source Premier, Communication and Mass Media Complete, and others will allow cited author searches for the journals and conference proceedings that they cover.


If your article is in JSTOR, when you look it up, there will usually be a link on the right to "Items Citing this Item" - hurray!

Research Help

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