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SNR: Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Science: Cited Reference Searching

Where do I find the most cited journals in my field?

Where do I find cited reference searching?

What is cited reference searching?

Cited reference searching allows you to locate books and articles that cite a previously published resource. This process allows you to track the research that has been done since the original item was published.

Why use cited reference searching?

  • To locate current research based on earlier research
  • To determine influential research
  • To find out how many times and where a publication is being cited
  • To find out who is citing a particular paper
  • To find out how a particular research topic is being used to support other research
  • To track the history of a research idea
  • To track the research history of a researcher
  • To determine how well your own published research is cited for promotion/tenure considerations

What should concern you about cited reference searching?

  • Citation rates vary widely from field to field and shouldn't be taken at face value, but considered relative to the field of research
  • Citation rate may be based on a few prolific authors citing each other, including self citations
  • Citation searching works better for journal articles than books
  • Cross-disciplinary research may produce fewer citations
  • Coverage of your particular field in the citation database may be weak
  • The research may too recent and not widely known, like emerging fields
  • The quality of the journal producing the citation
  • Distribution of the citations over time might be more indicative of their importance than an initial high citation count shortly after publication
  • There is a growing tendency of some researchers to go after topics likely to get into high-impact journals, which jeopardizes creativity, can skew the course or even slow the pace of science
  • Some journals also cite articles in editorials, reviews, news and other non-research articles to increase the number of cites
  • There is no guarantee that every paper which ought to be cited will be cited. An un-cited author may be ahead of his peers. Mendel and his genetics work went unappreciated for years