There are two main ways to expand your search using citation databases.
1. Author Search
Search for a key researcher to view all of the research an author has published which is indexed in a source/location (i.e. Scopus, Web of Science or Google Scholar)
2. Document Search
Search for a key paper and use the built-in links to view the references (i.e. backward citation searching) or the citations (i.e. forward citation searching)
Click on the headings below to find out how to conduct an author and a document search.
Author searches are useful when you have identified key researchers in your field and you'd like to review their body of work.
Another video you might find useful is how to keep track of an author in Scopus. Keeping track of a key author's work throughout your candidature can help you stay up-to-date on the latest published research.
To search for an author in Web of Science, you must first select the Web of Science Core Collection database. You can do this by visiting the Web of Science database and changing the dropdown menu at the top from "All Databases" to "Web of Science Core Collection."
Once you've done that, watch this video to find out how search for an author in Web of Science.
To search for a known author in Google Scholar, place the researcher's name into the search box and click Search.
If the researcher has created a Google Scholar profile, it will appear at the top of the search results. Click on the hyperlink of the researcher's name to view their profile.
A key feature of citation searching is to search 'backwards' and 'forwards' in time from a key paper. It means you can see which research the paper has cited (going "backwards" in time) and to see who has cited that paper (going "forwards" in time).
Backwards citation searching means looking at the literature that a paper has cited.
In Scopus and Web of Science, you can search for an article and then view the article’s reference list to see what papers were cited in that particular article. This is useful because it provides you with a picture of the ideas, theories and thinking which helped shape that particular piece of research.
Forwards citation searching involves searching forwards in time from a key paper to find other research which has cited that particular paper. This is useful because it means you can find new research which has drawn on or cited a key paper.
You can conduct forwards citation searching in Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar.
Note: Recently published articles may have no citations yet.
Watch the video below to see a demonstration of how to search forwards in time in Google Scholar.