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Google Scholar: Search Strategies, Citation Analysis, and More: Citation Analysis

Cited References

Identifying works that cite a specific article or book is a way to trace scholarship and the development of knowledge in a particular area of interest. For instance, if a specific article or book is fundamental to your research project, any later work which refers to that original text would be significant to your research. These later writings may either agree with or refute the original text, or even take the research in a whole new direction. Locating these later writings is referred to as Forward Citation Searching.

Identifying how often an article or book has been cited by other scholars can also be indication of how significant that work has been for a particular field of study.  This is often used to represent the relative importance of an article or book. 

Forward Citation Searching Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar covers articles, theses, books, abstracts, court opinions and other scholarly literature from all broad areas of research, and may include pre-prints and web-published reports as well as published literature.  Since Google Scholar indexes information from multiple sources (provided by publishers, included in databases such as PubMed, found on the public web, etc.), there is no comprehensive list of what publications it covers.  However, for many fields, the greater number of publication formats included means that Google Scholar may find citations that were not discovered in Web of Science.

To search for citing publications in Google Scholar, you may want to start with a search for your researchers name.  To get the best results that include various ways they may be cited, search all variations of the name within quotation marks, preceded by author: For example, to search for citations to Peter Linebaugh's work, search for

author:"P Linebaugh" OR author:"Peter Linebaugh"

Results will be listed (generally) with the most-cited publications first.  To see the list of citing documents, click on 'Cited by #' below an entry to display all citing documents. Google Scholar will attempt to group all versions of a single work into one entry and combine the citations, but please note that it is not always able to do so, and you may see additional entried (with citations) to a work.  See the examples in red boxes in the figure below.

(Click to enlarge)


This page was adapted from the Citation Analysis LibGuide by Wade Lee, Carlson Library, The University of Toledo. 

Scholarometer Web Site

Scholarometer, an add-on for Firefox and Google Chrome browsers that facilitates using Google Scholar data in citation analysis.

It allows one to compute commonly used statistics, including the h-index, for individual scholars.  One of the benefits of this software is that you can delete incorrect data or merge entries found on Google Scholar for a more accurate analysis.

Publish or Perish Software

Publish or Perish is a piece of software that creates a citation report using the data from Google Scholar.  It is available in Windows and Linux versions.  Among other metrics, it can report:

  • Total number of papers
  • Total number of citations
  • Average number of citations per paper
  • Average number of citations per author
  • Average number of papers per author
  • Average number of citations per year
  • Hirsch's h-index and related parameters

Stay current when new works cite a particular paper

Use Google Scholar alerts to learn of new articles that cite particular works.*

  1. In Google Scholar, find the work you want to track through forward citations.
  2. Click on the "Cited by" below the title and brief description.
  3. Click on the envelope icon located up top to the left side of your screen.
  4. Adjust available options to suit your needs.
  5. If you're logged into your gmail account, click "Create alert." If you're not logged into your gmail account, enter an email address (it doesn't need to be a gmail account) and click "Create alert."
  6. You may receive an email prompting you to confirm this alert. Go ahead and confirm the alert.

*Since Google scholar crawls the web, you may inadvertently receive alerts for older content that has recently been uploaded to the web.