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Cited Reference Searching

What is Citation Chaining?

Citation chaining is when you use one source as a way to find related documents in a forwards or backwards process.

Types of citation chaining:

  • Forward Chaining:  You start with one work and then look at works that have cited that document. In many databases or Google Scholar you can view this by looking at a "Cited by" or "Times Cited" feature which will tell you who has cited the document you are currently looking at.

  • Backward Chaining: Looking at a document to see what that document has cited (like in the literature review.)  Some databases refer to this as "Cited References".

Why is this important?  Citation chaining can help you find the root of an important idea and also help you figure out how that idea developed.  You can also find related records on your research topic.