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Web of Science Core Collection: Cited Reference Search

Web of Science Core Collection is a painstakingly selected, actively curated database of the journals that researchers themselves have judged to be the most important and useful in their fields.

Why do a Cited Reference Search?

Cited Reference searching should be a part of any complete literature search.  If you’re only searching keywords to find papers, you may be missing out on important papers and ideas.  A cited reference search starts with a known item and moves forward in time, potentially guiding you through the evolution of a concept in the literature of one or more fields.  

  • Web of Science indexes the items from each bibliography or list of references.
  • We capture all cited references regardless of age or document type.
  • Published authors may search for their published works to understand the impact their research is having on other researchers and disciplines.
  • You can search for citations to anything that's been cited in a Web of Science indexed publication - journal articles, books, theses, dissertations, works of art, musical scores and more. 

diagram of citing articles

Where do I find 'Cited Reference Search'?


You can find articles that have cited a particular publication/work right from the landing page by selecting "Cited Reference Search"

Cited Reference Search

How to do a Cited Reference Search?

To perform a comprehensive Cited Reference Search:

  1. Enter the first author’s name in the Cited Author field with appropriate truncation. Enter multiple names of authors linked by the Boolean OR if a work has multiple authors. This will enable to retrieve a publication even if it was indexed with only part of the authors.
  2. Enter a journal or book title in the Cited Work field. It is advised to abbreviate the titles and combine them from their indexed version found in the abbreviation list. If a work has been published in languages other than English, enter an abbreviated form of the original or know languages it was published in.
  3. It is advised to omit the Cited Year(s) field initially, in order to retrieve a maximum amount of variations or different editions of a same work.  If you get too many results, enter the year(s) that may refine relevant records. 
  4. Clicking Search will return entries from the Cited Reference Index that include the cited author/work combination entered.
  5. Select the references and variations that are relevant to your search.
  6. Click Finish Search to go to the Results page.

Example: I want to know how many articles cite this dual edition (and language) work:

Boltanski, Luc, & Thévenot, Laurent (1991). De la justification: les économies de la grandeur. Paris: Les Editions Gallimard. 

Boltanski, L., & Thévenot, L. (2006). On Justification: Economies of Worth. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Cited Author: Boltanski L* OR Thevenot L*

Cited Work: De la justifi* OR On justifi*

Cited year(s): Omit and then refine if needed to: 1991 OR 2006

Note that the number of results returned may vary from the number of citing articles listed on the full record since it will reflect on your institutional subscription.  Results that are published in journals indexed in Web of Science will have a View Record link. 


Cited Reference Search Videos