American Studies 440: Forward Citation Searching

Racial Capitalism
Professor: Andrew Cornell
Spring 2017

Forward Citation Searching

Finding out whether a work has been cited after its publication will help you assess the importance of that work and how it has shaped subsequent research and scholarship. This is called forward citation searching.

For example, this image shows the forward citations for Sherman, Haidt, and Coan's (2009) article "Viewing cute images increases behavioral carefulness."

forward citations for Sherman, Haidt, and Coan's (2009) article "Viewing cute images increases behavioral carefulness."

Increasingly databases include information about who cited a particular reference. Look for "Cited by" or "Times Cited" features.

Forward Citation Searching with Google Scholar

To use Google Scholar as a resource for citation searching: 

  1. Search for the title of the book or article. It can be helpful to put the title in quotes.
  2. Choose the "Cited by" link.  

The resulting list will include articles and websites that cite the original work as well as books scanned through the Google Books project.

Google Scholar search results for Marlene Sandstrom search with the cited by link highlighted

If you have linked Google Scholar to Williams Libraries:

  • On the resulting list, use the Fulltext@Williams link (sometimes hidden under the double right arrows) to check whether we have the item in our collection.  Note: there may be more than one entry for your reference.

Forward Citation Searching with Web of Science

Watch the video below to learn how to do cited reference searches in Web of Science, which covers all areas of knowledge, not just science.