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Cited Reference Searching & Acceptance Rates : Search Tips

Consolidate Citations that Cite Your Work

Copy/paste citation information into Microsoft Word or Excel and use the sort function.

Or:

Use RefWorks to generate a list of your citations. Then sort alphabetically by author and eliminate duplication in the results.


You may also want to note which database(s) provided the citation so you have an overall picture of which methods found results.

Search Tips

  • Make sure you have the accurate citation to the article.
  • Before searching for a cited reference in a database, do a keyword search and look at a few articles to see how their cited references appear.
    • Do they include titles of the articles?
    • Are author names spelled out in full or abbreviated?

Use this information to help you construct your search.

  • Test the search first using a cited reference that you know is in the database and see how effective the Advanced Search function is at finding that particular reference.
  • Try searching using author name spelling variations – due to common typographical errors and difficulty reading handwritten research notes.
  • Be careful when search pages which offer “citation search” features – these are not looking for cited references; rather they are offering the option to go directly to a specific article in the database.
  • Some databases can only search through HTML versions of full-text articles and not PDF while others can do both.
  • In some databases, searching full-text will search for words anywhere (acknowledgements, errata sheets, appendices, references, etc.). Others will only search the main body of the text of the article.
  • Many databases/collections only contain references starting in recent years – 2002 to the present. Older citations may exist but may not be included in the database.
  • Each database has slightly different content – many have full text for newer articles, but not older ones.
  • For databases that only offer the option to search within full-text (and not specifically in references), the most effective search is a combination of author last name and a keyword from either the journal name or the article title.
  • Web search engines (like Google Scholar) will pull up multiple links (including mirror sites) with many duplicate entries.

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