Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Here are some of the databases that have the capability to execute citation searches.
Historical Abstracts This link opens in a new window
Covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including military history, women's history, history of education, history of science, and more. Includes secondary source articles from more than 1800 journals, as well as books and book reviews. This is the most important source of secondary research material for the study of modern world history. Note: for U.S. history, use America: History and Life
; for medieval history, use Iter
. Coverage: 1955-present. Full-Text.
LGBTQ+ Source This link opens in a new window
Index to the world's literature regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. Disciplines covered include civil liberties, culture, employment, family, history, politics, psychology, religion, and sociology. Includes an LGBTQ+ thesaurus for enhanced searching. Coverage: 1953-present. Full-Text.
MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association) with Full Text This link opens in a new window
The definitive index for the study of language, literature, composition, folklore, and film with full text for more than 1,000 journals. International in scope, the bibliography covers scholarly publications from the early 20th century to the present, including journal articles, books, and more. Coverage: 1963-present. Some full text.
PsycINFO This link opens in a new window
A comprehensive index to international psychology literature in journals, books, and book chapters, dissertations, and conference proceedings. Coverage: 1887 to present. Citations Only.
What is a Citation Search?
A citation search reveals the number of times a particular article/author has been cited in other works (generally articles, but this depends on the database).
A citation search can also be useful when you are looking for a particular journal or year(s) of publication, but for general scholarship, the citation search is most often used to find the citation history of an article or author.
"Reference" versus "Citation"
The concept of "citation indexing" was explained by Eugene Garfield in his paper, "The concept of citation indexing: A unique and innovative tool for navigating the research literature," in 1994. the following is a quote from Derek Price that Garfield uses to distinguish between a reference and a citation.
"It seems to me a great pity to waste a good technical term by using the words citation and reference interchangeably. I therefore propose and adopt the convention that if Paper R contains a bibliographic footnote using and describing Paper C, then R contains a reference to C, and C has a citation from R. The number of references a paper has is measured by the number of items in its bibliography as endnotes, footnotes, etc., while the number of citations a paper has is found by looking it up [in a] citation index and seeing how many other papers mention it." (qtd from Derek Price's Little Science, Big Science, p. 284)
Thus a work has a citation when it is used in another work.
A work has a reference when it uses other works.
Finding More Resources
When you have a particular work which you intend to use for your research:
You can consult the bibliographical information provided by that particular work. This is called "backward citation" or "citation mining."
You can consult a citation index for that particular work and discover what other works referenced that particular work. This is called "forward citation" or "citation searching."