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Web of Science Unraveled

What is Cited Reference Searching?

Cited reference searching allows you to see who cited a published book or article.

Looking at footnotes, you can follow research backwards in time to see what sources your article used.

Cited reference searching allows you to take research forwards by seeing who else cited the article.

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. 


Here are some things to think about while you are running a Cited Reference Search:

  • Type in the author's name by omitting commas
  • Select the citation years you want to search by limiting to possible years to avoid irrelevant results 
  • Select the records you want from each page by looking for typos and watching for inverted titles
  • Also check all the ways the author's name could be entered