Web of Science Core Collection: How to do a Cited Reference Search

Web of Science Core Collection: How to do a Cited Reference Search


Running a Basic Search in Web of Science Core Collection searches source records in the database. I’m looking for an article titled, “Measuring Inconsistency in Meta Analyses.” I see that this article was published in a journal that we index, British Medical Journal, so it has a source record in the database. From the full record view, I can see all of the bibliographic information captured for this item. I can also see that over 5,700 items in WoS Core Collection have cited this article. To begin a cited reference search, navigate to the Cited Reference Search panel and start with what you know about an item. You may not always have complete information about the publication you’re looking for, but you can use any of the available search fields to help you get started. Cited Author searches the individual or group credited with authorship Cited Work searches the publication where the item appeared, for example, the name of the journal. Cited Year searches the year of publication. Cited Volume, Issue and Page search the publication details. Cited Title searches the article or book chapter title. Your initial search may not be comprehensive if you don’t know all of this information, but it can help you discover more information about the item to create a better search later. I am going to search for the same article using the Cited Title field. I see a list of articles returned that match my title search. They’re shown in abbreviated format but I can click Show Expanded Titles to see more. The article was published in British Medical Journal in 2003, and the primary Cited Author is Higgins. One of the titles is hyperlinked and takes me to the record in WoS Core Collection, which we found when we did the Basic Search by article title at the beginning. The other items in this lookup table are citation variants. They share some of the same data in common, but cite the acronym of the journal, BMJ, and don’t include an issue number for the journal. They also cite incorrect pages. We’re viewing results from a Cited Reference Search using the article title only, but the preferred method for Cited Reference Searching is to use Cited Author, Cited Work and Cited Year. Citation variants are most often the result of mistakes in the Cited Title, Volume, Issue or Page fields. Back on the Cited Reference Search page, you’ll notice that Author, Work and Year are the default search fields available. Now we’ll run a search for the same article using the preferred method. I’ll start with Cited Author. The best way to collect the citation variants to this article is to use the journal abbreviation list. Here I can browse the list of journal title abbreviations to find the preferred abbreviation for British Medical Journal. Once I’ve located it, I can copy and paste the abbreviation into the Cited Work field. I’m also adding Cited Year to this search. When we search for the same article using the preferred abbreviation, we find several more citation variants. Use the Select Page or Select All button at the top or bottom of the table to mark all the citations to this article. You can always deselect any references you do not want to include. For example, when I look at the expanded titles, I can see that the first entry is a citation to a different article. Finally, click Finish Search. When we add all of the variants and finish the search, we now have over 6,400 citations to this article. You might also want to try searching for citations to non-journal literature. Cited Reference Searches can help you find articles that cite works of art, books or newspaper articles. For example, by searching by Cited Author and Cited Work, I can collect citations to Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Blink.” For books, leave the Cited Year field blank to collect citations to different editions. The Cited Work field is for book titles, and the Cited Title field is for book chapter titles. Here are some best practices to follow when doing a Cited Reference Search for a journal article: For cited authors use the lead author’s name when possible; search variations for hyphenated and spaced names. For journals which may present authors’ names in a non-traditional order, search for variations in name order. For cited works use preferred abbreviations for journal names, and for non-journal items, use wildcard characters to help with variations. Be careful when using cited volume, issue and page – these are best used to narrow a search or to help find the correct version of a citation. These are the fields that are most often incorrectly cited.

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