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City, Culture & Community Program Library Guide

Research guide for students in the graduate program City, Culture, & Community, sponsored by the department of Sociology and the School of Social Work.

What is Citation Searching?

So you have an article in your hands, and you want to see where it fits into the scholarly conversation. What works does this author respond to, and who has responded to this author since the study was published.

Citations are the road map to this published conversation, and tracking the citations backward and forward can help put a study into context, and broaden understanding of the research. 

Here are two citation searching tools that can help!

Google Scholar: Citation Searching

A downloadable pdf of these images is available below.

1. First, go to to locate the article you want to track.  Using the last name and a portion of the article title is a good search strategy.

2. Locate your desired article in the results list. Note the "Cited by ##" link in the lower left of your article entry. Click this to see citing articles.

3. When reviewing your results, remember that Google Scholar will find more than just scholarly books and articles. Watch for unpublished papers, conference proceedings, and even PowerPoint presentations in your results.

Use your evaluating skills to decide what's appropriate for your research.

Journal Impact Factor

The impact factor (IF) is a measure of the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year. It is used to measure the importance or rank of a journal by calculating the times it's articles are cited.

How Important is a Journal’s Impact Factor? Other Perspectives

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