Cited Reference Searching - Web of Science/Knowledge

Link to ISI Web of Science/Knowledge

Note: Web of Knowledge includes Web of Science (Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index).

  • The default is to search all of these indexes.
  • On the opening search page, you can choose a subset under "MORE SETTINGS".

Using the ISI Web of Science/Knowledge

You've searched indexes before, in order to find articles that have been published on your topic. Cited reference searches take the process a step further. Once you know of an article, you can find out who cited this article and who cited similar articles. The Web of Knowledge specializes in this type of searching.

The essence of cited reference searching is in the bibliography (references) section of an article. Web of Knowledge links papers together based on the references cited within the papers. Cited Reference searching is valuable because it shows how articles are inter-related and follows the progress of ideas through publications. Through a cited reference search, you can discover how a known idea or innovation has been confirmed, applied, improved, extended, or corrected.

Web of Knowledge allows us to do 3 things from the full record of an article (the "parent").

  1. Look at the papers cited by it -  "Cited References". (A traditional index often shows this, too.)
  2. Look at the papers which have cited it - "Times Cited".
  3. Look at papers which have cited the same references - "Related Records".

Diagram showing the working of Cited Reference Searching vs. Traditional Search

Start by Finding a Parent Paper

Use a regular keyword search to find a list of article citations that match your search criteria.  Look at the "full record" of one item by clicking on the title; this will be the parent paper.

Citation Network

On the right side of the screen for your parent paper, see the "Citation Network", which shows these links.  Here's a screen capture:

Times Cited

Click on "Times Cited" to see a list of articles that have cited this parent paper - articles that were published after this one. A brief list is shown, with a link where you can view them all. Most of them are hyperlinked to the full citation of the citing paper.

This is an excellent way to see who used this paper to further develop the ideas presented.  Also, papers that are cited often are probably important papers!

Cited References

Click on "Cited References" to get a list of the articles cited in this parent paper. Most of these are also "clickable", so that you can view the full record for each of them.

Related Records

The link for "Related Records" finds other papers that cite at least one document cited by the parent paper. Related Records are ranked according to the number of references they share with the parent record, so those with the most matches appear at the top of the list.

The assumption behind Related Records searching is that articles citing the same works have a subject relationship, regardless of whether their titles, abstracts, or keywords contain the same terms. The more cited references two articles share, the closer this subject relationship is.

Related Records are an excellent way of finding "more like this" articles. For example:

  1. Assume your query "honeybee* AND hearing" found an article by WH Kirchner titled "Hearing in Honeybees - The Mechanical Response of the Bees Antenna to Near-Field Sound" that is highly relevant to your field of inquiry.
  2. You click "Related Records" to find other papers that cite identical references.
  3. You observe that some of the Related Records were among the results found by your initial search, but many of them were not because their titles and abstracts do not contain the words honeybees and hearing. However, they do contain words like bees, honey-bee, honey bee, acoustical, communication, signals, and other terms synonymous with or closely related to terms in your initial query. 

Example of a Full Record

Below is an image of a full record in the Web of Knowledge, with labels showing the links.

  • article title
  • authors' names, and their institutional affiliation (and sometimes contact information)
  • journal title, volume, issue, page number, date
  • the DOI permanent link
  • the Citation Network


Limiting Search Results

There are many options for working with the results of your search:

  • sort by date, times cited, author, etc.
  • search within results
  • refine by category document type, author, source (journal title), language, country, etc.
  • email, save, or export records into a citation manager
  • see links to full text
  • see more detailed description

Click on the image below for a larger view.

Online Tutorial from Web of Knowledge

This was a brief introduction to Cited Reference searching. For more information on using Web of Knowledge, see their online tutorial. Other training options are also available on the ISI website.

Create An Account

Web of Knowledge also offers the option to create an account for yourself. If you do this, you can take advantage of advanced features, such as saving searches and setting up "alerts" to inform you when something happens. Look on the sidebar of the search screen for details.