Answered By: Erin Gabrielson
Last Updated: Oct 23, 2016     Views: 1747

Citation chaining means searching backwards and forwards in time for materials that are cited by and also that cite an article or resource you already have. One resource links you to another, which links you to another, and so on to create a chain of relevant literature.

This is a useful research tactic when you are working on a literature review since it helps you follow chains of related sources.

For example, let's say you've found a relevant article on your topic. You can make a chain of citations leading from that one article both forwards and backwards from the year of publication:

  • Resources cited in your article would be older than the article, so you would be finding past resources on the same topic by looking up those citations.
     
  • Resources that cite your article will be newer than the article you've already found, so you would be finding more recent, relevant literature by searching for those.
     

Learn how to find the full text of articles and books when you have the citation information for them. This will help you look up the resources cited in any materials you already have.
 

Learn how to find materials that cite an article you already have.

 

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