Citation Searching

Scholarship is a conversation, and citations are the thread of that conversation. Learning how to follow citations will help you track down those hard-to-find resources and broaden your search strategy for very current or very specific topics.

Backward Citation Searching

Looking at the works cited by an author is called backward citation searching. The author's bibliography gives you a snapshot of the thinking and research available at the time of publication. It tells you what ideas or theories have influenced the author.

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

backward citations