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Cited References: How Do I Find Who Cited an Article or Book?

About This Guide

An important aspect of doing research is tracking references cited by authors of articles and books. This is not always an easy task and this guide outlines the cited reference capabilities of a number of databases in the BU library collections.

(Original author, Meredith Kirkpatrick, 2021)


There are a number of sources that provide cited references to articles and books. A primary source for citations is the Web of Science database which comprises Arts & Humanities Citation Index; Social Sciences Citation Index; Science Citation Index Expanded; Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science; Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Social Science & Humanities; Book Citation Index-Science; Book Citation Index- Social Science and Humanities; and Emerging Sources Citation Index. 

Because of the large number of publications indexed and because of the multidisciplinary coverage, this database has generally been  the first place to look for cited references but other databases now include cited reference searching features as well. The EBSCO databases and the Proquest databases are now very useful for cited reference searching.

Please remember that citation styles (MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, APA, etc.) determine how a citation is indexed so it is important to input author’s names in a variety of ways (Strauss, Gerald; Strauss, G.; Strauss, G*) in order to pick up citations to an author’s work. Some databases give very specific instructions regarding the input of an author’s name and some provide author indexes to facilitate the search. Because many names are identical or similar, it is important to make the search as specific as possible (include titles of articles or books, dates, sources, etc.).

The Concept of Citation


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