Skip to main content

Researching for your literature review: Activity: Citation searching

What is citation searching?


Citation searching is a search method that can be done forward or backward in time.

  • Forward citation searching retrieves records that have cited an item, also known as “cited by”. This provides you with more recently published articles that may be relevant for your topic. 
  • Backward citation searching involves records that an item has cited (these will be located in the article's reference list). This is also known as snowballing - using known relevant articles to identify other key articles or search terms.

The main citation databases are Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar. 

Citation searching in Scopus

Activity: do a citation search using Scopus database

Search for the following article in Scopus to check how many times it has been cited and see if any of the newer articles are relevant to this topic.

Bellini, C., Petignat, C., Masserey, E., Büla, C., Burnand, B., Rousson, V., ... & Zanetti, G. (2015). Universal screening and decolonization for control of MRSA in nursing homes: A cluster randomized controlled study. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 36(4), 401-408.


1.  Login to Scopus at
http://guides.lib.monash.edu/go.php?c=8480086

2.  Enter the article title "Universal screening and decolonization for control of MRSA in nursing homes" and click the search button.

screenshot of the article title "Universal screening and decolonization for control of MRSA in nursing homes" in the Scopus search box


3.  How many times has this article been cited? Click on the number in the Cited by column to view the list of newer articles. 
 

screenshot of the Cited By results showing 12 in the Cited By column


4.  Click on Analyze search results. You can then analyse the prominence of specific journals in the field, identify prominent authors and their affiliations, and pinpoint principle subject areas for this query.

screenshot of the Analyze search results button in Scopus