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You are here, searching cited references.

Articles, books and other resources listed in a Bibliography or "Works Cited" list, or "References" list. Locating cited references is useful for finding current articles on a topic, identifying the top researchers in a field, and for tenure decisions.

  • Search results depend on the content in the database. If a journal that cited a particular work is not indexed by the database, then a reference to your work will not appear in your search results. Check to see which databases index journals that cover your topic.
  • Search all permutations of the cited author's name: last name; last name and first initial; last name, first and middle initials.
  • For some articles, only the first author may be indexed. If someone is the second or third author, remember you should also search by the lead author to locate the cited references.
  • Journals use different formats for articles cited. Beware of inconsistency in citation format such as misspellings, incorrect years or volume numbers. Citation databases and indexes are minimally edited.
  • Cited reference searching works best for references to periodical articles.
  • If you locate only a few or no cited references to an article, consider whether the research may be too recent.

Free Resources

Free resources are available on the Web:

Google Scholar : a free web search engine, also helps identify cited references in open access journal articles and on websites. Read more About Google Scholar

  • Google Books : a free web search engine, is a growing collection of scanned online books

Library Databases

Databases with direct cited reference searching.

  • Web of Science.
  • EbscoHost Platform (includes CINAHL, PsycINFO, Communication and Mass Media Index with full text (CMMI))
  • Sociological Abstracts

Indirect Cited Reference Searching (search for the specific author and title, than check who has cited)

  • ScienceDirect
  • SciFinder Scholar's Chemical Abstracts
  • Sage Journals Online

More tips and tutorials

Read discipline specific search tips

If you need more help doing library research, you can ask a CSUN librarian for help in-person, via online chat, email, or by phone.

Cite A Source

Quick guides.

  • MLA Style Guide 8th edition
  • APA Style Guide
  • Chicago Manual of Style Quick Guide

More Tips and Tools

  • Citing Archival Materials
  • Citing Your Sources

For Faculty: EMBED Citation modules For Students

How to embed a library module in my canvas course.

Step 1: Find Canvas Commons on the global navigation bar located on the left of the screen.

Step 2: Search for the instructional content you want for your course by typing in "universitylibrary" in the search bar.

Step 3: Import an instructional module into your Canvas course. More details can be found on the faculty services page .

  • Cited reference searching
  • Research tools & techniques
  • Search techniques
  • Find everything on your topic

In the cited reference searching process you:

  • Start with a reference (normally a journal article or book) that you have read and which is important for your research
  • Search for other publications that have cited that reference.

Why use cited reference searching?

If the reference that you started with was highly relevant to your research, other publications may have cited references that are also relevant to your research.

Cited reference searching is a useful alternative to keyword searching. With cited reference searching, you search with concrete search terms — the title and author of the cited reference.

Major databases

The following three databases are particularly useful for cited reference searching:

Web of Science

Web of Science  will find citations for most items (including books, songs, movies, famous letters and works of art) as long as it's been cited by something indexed in Web of Science.

Scopus will find citations in major journals and scholarly websites.

  • Enter the title   of the reference in the search box, enclosed in double quotation marks
  • If necessary, add a second search field to also search for the author’s last name

If you can't remember the full title, try adding just the author's name and a few words from the title e.g.  watson molecular structure nucleic acids.  This example would find results where  watson ,  molecular ,  structure ,  nucleic,  and  acids  are in the same reference. 

Google Scholar

Google Scholar will find citations in electronic journal websites and scholarly websites.

  • Go to Google Scholar Advanced Search  to display all the search options
  • Use the exact phrase search box for the title of the reference
  • For  where my words occur  select in the title of the article
  • Use the return articles authored by search box for the author’s last name
  • Search to locate the reference
  • Click on Cited by  to display the references which cite the reference.

Other approaches

In theory, you can perform cited reference searching in any full-text database. If the database contains the full text of books or articles, then you should be able to search the references and bibliographies of those books and articles. You can perform cited reference searching in journal article databases, such as:

  • ScienceDirect Journals

 You can also use databases which contain the full text of books, such as  Google Book Search .

There are other databases which contain abstracts only, but which index all the cited references in the articles which they abstract. APA PsycInfo  is an example.

The search methods vary. In full-text databases you may have to use a search option such as All Fields or All Text and search for the title of the book or journal article. If possible, search for the title as a phrase. Some databases provide an option to limit your search to the cited references. 

Contact the Librarian Team for further help with cited reference searching.

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  • Accessing Journal Articles
  • Find Items in a Reference List

Finding Journal Articles: Find Items in a Reference List


A quick way to find additional resources for a research paper is to use references from textbooks, readings packages, key articles, etc.

Reference lists (or bibliographies or works cited) are found at the end of most scholarly publications and can lead you to other relevant resources for your research.

Check the examples below for tips on locating sources listed in reference lists.

Finding journal articles

Typical citations for articles from electronic journals: Bergin, C., & Bergin, D. (2009). Attachment in the Classroom. Educational Psychology Review , 21(2), 141-170. doi: 10.1007/s10648-009-9104-0. Phillion, J. (2003). Obstacles to accessing the teaching profession for immigrant women. Multicultural Education , 11(1), 41-45.

It’s probably an article from an e-journal if...

  • In addition to author, journal title, and article title etc., the citation also contains a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), a long alphanumeric sequence which links directly to a particular article.
  • In addition to author, journal title, and article title etc., the citation also contains a permanent URL linking directly to the article.

Find it by ...

  • If you are on campus , enter (or copy and paste) the DOI or permanent link into your web browser.
  • If you are off campus, search for the Title of the journal (not the title of the article) in the Library Catalogue.

Typical journal article (print) citation: Williamson, T. (1997). Knowledge as evidence. Mind , 106, 717-741.

It’s probably a journal article if. ..the citation contains author, two titles, as well as volume, issue (not always present), and page numbers.

Find it by ...completing a search for the Title of the journal (not the title of the article) in the Library Catalogue .

Finding books & book chapters

Typical book citation: Elkins, J. (2007). Is art history global? New York: Routledge.

It’s probably a book if ...the citation contains author, title, and publication details, but no volume or issue number, no URL etc.  

Find it by. ..completing a Title search in the Library Catalogue.

Typical chapter citation: Thompson, R. A. (2009). Relationships, stress, and memory. In J. A. Quas & R. Fivush (Eds.), Emotion and memory in development: Biological, cognitive, and social considerations (pp. 355-373). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

It’s probably a chapter from a book if. ..the citation contains two titles, and the word In appears after the first title. Find it by ...completing a search for the Title of the book (not the chapter title) in the  Library Catalogue.

Can't find a book?

  • Interlibrary Loan We may not own it, but chances are we can still get it for you! Take advantage of our Interlibrary Loan Service. It's free for current students, faculty and staff.

Quick search using Google Scholar

You can also quickly copy and paste your reference into Google Schola r to see if you have access to the material.

Set your preferences within Google Scholar to ensure you have all-access to USask licensed resources: 

  • Select Settings from the top of the Google Scholar screen  before  you search.  
  • Select  Library Links  from the left side.  
  • In the  Library Links  text box, type  University of Saskatchewan  then select the search button.  
  • The page will display "University of Saskatchewan library" selected with a checkbox. Select the  Save  button. This preference will now be saved for any future searches on this computer. You will need to repeat this process for any additional computers you use.  
  • Back on the search screen, enter your search terms  
  • From your search results, look to the right and choose " Fulltext@USask Library"  to view the full-text of a journal article, or search for a book title in the USask Library Catalogue.  

Connect from home

When attempting to access online resources from home, make sure you are logged into the library's website to ensure you have full access. See the Connect from Home page below for more information.

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Educational resources and simple solutions for your research journey

bibliography in research paper

A Beginner’s Guide to Citations, References and Bibliography in Research Papers

where to get references for research paper

As an academician, terms such as citations, references and bibliography might be a part of almost every work-related conversation in your daily life. However, many researchers, especially during the early stages of their academic career, may find it hard to differentiate between citations, references and bibliography in research papers and often find it confusing to implement their usage. If you are amongst them, this article will provide you with some respite. Let us start by first understanding the individual terms better.

Citation in research papers:  A citation appears in the main text of the paper. It is a way of giving credit to the information that you have specifically mentioned in your research paper by leading the reader to the original source of information. You will need to use citation in research papers whenever you are using information to elaborate a particular concept in the paper, either in the introduction or discussion sections or as a way to support your research findings in the results section.

Reference in research papers:  A reference is a detailed description of the source of information that you want to give credit to via a citation. The references in research papers are usually in the form of a list at the end of the paper. The essential difference between citations and references is that citations lead a reader to the source of information, while references provide the reader with detailed information regarding that particular source.

Bibliography in research papers:

A bibliography in research paper is a list of sources that appears at the end of a research paper or an article, and contains information that may or may not be directly mentioned in the research paper. The difference between reference and bibliography in research is that an individual source in the list of references can be linked to an in-text citation, while an individual source in the bibliography may not necessarily be linked to an in-text citation.

It’s understandable how these terms may often be used interchangeably as they are serve the same purpose – namely to give intellectual and creative credit to an original idea that is elaborated in depth in a research paper. One of the easiest ways to understand when to use an in-text citation in research papers, is to check whether the information is an ongoing work of research or if it has been proven to be a ‘fact’ through reproducibility. If the information is a proven fact, you need not specifically add the original source to the list of references but can instead choose to mention it in your bibliography. For instance, if you use a statement such as “The effects of global warming and climate changes on the deterioration of environment have been described in depth”, you need not use an in-text citation, but can choose to mention key sources in the bibliography section. An example of a citation in a research paper would be if you intend to elaborate on the impact of climate change in a particular population and/or a specific geographical location. In this case, you will need to add an in-text citation and mention the correct source in the list of references.

where to get references for research paper

Now that you have understood the basic similarities and differences in these terms, you should also know that every journal follows a particular style and format for these elements. So when working out how to write citations and add references in research papers, be mindful of using the preferred style of your target journal before you submit your research document.

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Citing Reference FAQ

What is a citing reference.

You're probably familiar with cited reference. These are the articles, books, and other resources that the authors used when writing their piece. They are listed in the footnotes or at the end or an article or book. These cited references allow you to move backwards in the research process and see the work that influences and supported the original piece you found.

Citing references allow you to move forward in the research process. These are resources that are published after the original piece and cite it in their reference or work cited lists. 

Why would I look for citing references?

Citing references are a great way to find more current, related research on your topic. You'll want to be as up-to-date on your topic as possible, and citing references are going to be more recent than the original piece. Also, since the citing references used the original piece in their work, it's very likely that the topics are related. So if the original piece was useful to you, chances are good that the citing references will be as well.

Where can I find citing references?

Two databases specialize in tracking citing references. One is Web of Science. Despite it's name, Web of Science includes millions of scholarly articles in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Google Scholar also includes citing references in its database of articles and books.

More and more library databases are also starting to track citing references. While these are more limited than Web of Science or Google Scholar, they can still be useful. Look for "Times Cited" or "Cited By" links in the records of useful articles in your favorite subject database.

How to find citing references in Web of Science

If you've already found a great article and want to know if it has been cited by other, more recent schoarlyl articles, try searching in Web of Science.

  • Web of Science This link opens in a new window Click on the "Times Cited: #" link under the result entry to see a full list of citing references.

How to find citing references in Google Scholar

To find other citing references beyond Web of Science, including books, try Google Scholar

  • Google Scholar Click on the "Cited by #" link under the result to get a full-list of citing references. You can search within this list by checking the box at the top and entering keywords into the search box at the top.
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Find relevant information like your own rough draft from among the 11,965 reports available for free at Copy and paste up to 8 pages of content from some other source: an outside article, a rough draft of your own, etc., then select "Find Relevant Reports".

Find Relevant Reports

Click here to search reports published from the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Research Council.

Build Web Searches

Click here to view key search phrases derived from your content for searching on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and

The Reference Finder is provided exclusively as a research tool. No information will be retained regarding use of this resource beyond normal server logs. That is, entered text is not retained, and the staff of the National Academies will make no correlations between server logs, IP addresses, and submitted content.

What is the Reference Finder?

where to get references for research paper

  • Manuscript Preparation

How to write your references quickly and easily

  • 3 minute read

Table of Contents

Every scientific paper builds on previous research – even if it’s in a new field, related studies will have preceded and informed it. In peer-reviewed articles, authors must give credit to this previous research, through citations and references. Not only does this show clearly where the current research came from, but it also helps readers understand the content of the paper better.

There is no optimum number of references for an academic article but depending on the subject you could be dealing with more than 100 different papers, conference reports, video articles, medical guidelines or any number of other resources.

That’s a lot of content to manage. Before submitting your manuscript, this needs to be checked, cross-references in the text and the list, organized and formatted.

The exact content and format of the citations and references in your paper will depend on the journal you aim to publish in, so the first step is to check the journal’s Guide for Authors before you submit.

There are two main points to pay attention to – consistency and accuracy. When you go through your manuscript to edit or proofread it, look closely at the citations within the text. Are they all the same? For example, if the journal prefers the citations to be in the format (name, year), make sure they’re all the same: (Smith, 2016).

Your citations must also be accurate and complete. Do they match your references list? Each citation should be included in the list, so cross-checking is important. It’s also common for journals to prefer that most, if not all, of the articles listed in your references be cited within the text – after all, these should be studies that contributed to the knowledge underpinning your work, not just your bedtime reading. So go through them carefully, noting any missing references or citations and filling the gaps.

Each journal has its own requirements when it comes to the content and format of references, as well as where and how you should include them in your submission, so double-check before you hit send!

In general, a reference will include authors’ names and initials, the title of the article, name of the journal, volume and issue, date, page numbers and DOI. On ScienceDirect, articles are linked to their original source (if also published on ScienceDirect) or to their Scopus record, so including the DOI can help link to the correct article.

A spotless reference list

Luckily, compiling and editing the references in your scientific manuscript can be easy – and it no longer has to be manual. Management tools like Mendeley can keep track of all your references, letting you share them with your collaborators. With the Word plugin, it’s possible to select the right citation style for the journal you’re submitting to and the tool will format your references automatically.

Like with any other part of your manuscript, it’s important to make sure your reference list has been checked and edited. Elsevier Author Services Language Editing can help, with professional manuscript editing that will help make sure your references don’t hold you back from publication.

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    Google Scholar(link is external): a free web search engine, also helps identify cited references in open access journal articles and on websites

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  12. Find citing references

    Google Scholar also includes citing references in its database of articles and books. More and more library databases are also starting to track

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    REFERENCE FINDER. Find relevant information like your own rough draft from among the 11,965 reports available for free at Copy and paste up to 8

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    Every scientific paper builds on previous research – even if it's in a new field, related studies will have preceded and informed it. In peer-reviewed articles