Beyond simple search: 50 years of following citations

Looking at who has cited useful articles is still a great way to find articles and is something every budding scientist should try.

Dr Eugene Garfield
Dr Eugene Garfield

Fifty years ago, in 1964, Dr Eugene Garfield studied thousands of articles written by two major pharmaceutical companies and discovered that you could often find relevant articles more easily by looking at who has already referenced an article you have found useful than by just relying on a simple subject search.  This was the start of the Web of Science Science Citation Index.  

Finding articles using citations in Web of Science

  1. Log into Web of Science.
  2. Click the pull-down menu arrow and choose to search the Web of Science Core Collection.
  3. Search for articles you want and click on Locate Full Text to find many articles full-text online.
  4. Click on the titles of the most useful articles, scroll down the record for each and click on the number of Times Cited in Web of Science Core Collection to discover all those articles that mention those articles.

Photo by kwbridge

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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