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Citation Searching

Find Citing Papers

A Sample Citation Search

In this example we want to find papers that have cited a 1951 paper written by Robert B. Woodward et al., that appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, volume 73, pages 2403-04.

1.  Connect to Web of Science.

2.  Choose "Cited Reference Search" from the search type menu.

search type menu

3.  To focus your search in the citation index best suited to your topic, open the More Settings menu and select the database segments that are relevant to the topic: in this example, we'll choose the Science Citation Index Expanded and Conference Proceedings - Science.

index segment selection form

4.  Fill out the search form box.

  • Enter the last name and initial(s) of the first author of the paper in question in the CITED AUTHOR field. (Don't use full first names or commas.) You should allow for variants by typing an asterisk (*) after the first or second initial: WOODWARD RB*
  • Due to the large number of variant abbreviations and typos in the data, you should usually leave the CITED WORK field blank.
  • Enter a year or range of years in the CITED YEAR field. It doesn't matter how old the cited article is.
  • Select "Science Citation Index Expanded" and, optionally, the Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science from the database list, and apply other desired year limits on citing articles.
  • Click Search.

search form

5.  You will see an index list of cited articles. Note the rigid format of the entries, which causes them to sort first by author, then by journal abbreviation and then by date:

citation selection table

Scan the list carefully for typos and variant postings. You'll need to note the page numbers and volume number of the entry to verify it's the exact paper you're looking for. "Cited Work" titles are always abbreviated, sometimes not very consistently. Page numbers and volume numbers can be inaccurate, transposed, or missing altogether. The number of Citing Articles is the total number of articles in the entire WOS database that cited that particular entry. In this example, the entry with page number "2043" is probably a typo, so that should be selected as well as the correct entry below it.

6.  Select all desired index entries, set any language or document-type limits at the bottom of the page, and then click Finish Search.

7.  A list of Citing Papers is retrieved. In this example, 59 papers are found.  This list can be re-sorted and analyzed in various ways.  Links out to full text (depending on availability) are available too.

8.  Click on a paper's title to view the full database record. From here, you can also look at the citing paper's reference list, or find Related Records citing the same things. The Times Cited figure is a sum of citing papers found in the database. (This number may undercount actual citations due to variant postings, so use it with caution.) Click on Times Cited to pull up a list of the citing papers.

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