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Stony Brook University


Resources for Research in History

Citation Analysis

Web of Science / Web of Knowledge Citation Indexes (Institute for Scientific Information)

Use this database to perform citation analysis on articles written by historians. In other words, find out who is citing whom, when, and where. Start with a list of the author's publications, preferably from a CV or bibliography. DO NOT begin your search hoping to identity a list of the author's works or even a specific work, as this is often difficult and unreliable; better tools than Web of Science exist for identifying an author's corpus (see Historical Abstracts and America: History & Life, directly below). Web of Science is particular about the way in which an author's name must be entered into the database. It is therefore recommended to search the author's last name (e.g. CLANCY) in combination with a second search facet (e.g. cited year of publication). There are three citation indexes in Web of Science, all of which are turned on by default: Science Citation Index (SCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), and Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI). Each indexes journals in its respect broad area of knowledge. Even if the author under consideration is not a "scientist" but a "social scientist" or "humanist," stick with the default search for the most comprehensive results.

  • Click on the "Cited Ref Search" icon to begin the process of identifying articles that cite an author's work(s).
  • Enter the author's name in the Cited Author field like this: last name only; OR last-name space first-initial followed immediately by an asterisk (*). Example: SANTLEY or SANTLEY R* (case is now irrelevant, but the old-style capitalization is maintained for the purpose of this example). The latter picks up works authored by "Robert Santley" and "Robert S. Santley". As indicated above, it is best to add cited year, if known, in the appropriate search box before performing the search.
  • Press "Search" to retrieve your "CITED REFERENCE INDEX" results list. WARNING: Even good searches usually return results with at least a few "false hits" (synonymous authors and titles). You will need to weed these out. This is one reason why, as a general rule, it is less confusing to search for a single article than multiple works, and to combine the search with a cited year if known. Check the boxes next to the results you feel actually represent the article under consideration.
  • Finally, click the "Finish Search" icon to obtain a list of references to articles that cite the article under consideration. It is possible to sort the final results list by number of times cited, publication year, first author, etc. Clicking on a reference reveals a link to all the references it cites (it's bibliography or works cited list), and other bibliographic information. Print, email, or export to EndNote your final results list from the right-hand column under "Output Records".
  • You might wish to return to the Scholarly Credentials Toolkit for additional tips and a longer tutorial on citation analysis.

Historical Abstracts and America: History & Life (or search both at once without access to cited references)

The core history databases are now available on the familiar EBSCOhost platform. A new cited reference search has been added to both databases. The combined information indexed in Historical Abstracts and America: History & Life is so comprehensive with regard to history scholarship that even a simple author-name search, where no cited reference search is involved, can broadly determine quantity (and to a lesser extent quality) of scholarly output. The databases can be used to confirm partial or suspect article citations and/or create a fairly comprehensive bibliography of works produced by an author.

  • Choose "Cited References" from the green bar at the top of the homepage of either database. No cited reference option appears if both databases are searched simultaneously. Enter any combination of cited author, cited source, cited title, cited year, or all fields and then hit the "Search" button. The results are displayed below the Cited References sub-tab. The Search fields remain available so you can edit your search terms or run a new search. From the Cited References sub-tab, you can mark check boxes, click Find Citing Articles, and retrieve a list of Citing Articles.
  • Regular keyword searches can result in lists of records with "Cited References (X)" and "Times Cited in this Database (X)" in the citation. Clicking on a Cited References hyperlink causes the Cited References sub-tab to present a list of records cited in your original article (in other words, just a bibliography of works quoted or consulted by the author of the original article). If you click the Times Cited in this Database hyperlink, the Citing Articles sub-tab presents a list of records that cite your original article (in other words, a list of articles that subsequently cited the original article).

Note: Academic Search Complete, available on the Ebsco platform, offers a cited reference search. Since ASC is the Libraries' most comprehensive serials database, it is well worth including in any comprehensive search for cited references. As above, choose "Cited References" from the green bar at the top of ASC's homepage.



JSTOR, the premier scholarly journal database, offers a cited reference search. However, this ability is not available from the initial basic or advanced search screens.

  • Begin by performing a standard search for the article under consideration. If found, click on the article title to reveal the article's initial, full-text page.
  • A box titled "JSTOR" appears to the right of the article. It may indicate "X articles Cite this Article." Click on this link to reveal citations to articles in JSTOR that cite the article under consideration. Note as well the presence of a link to "Articles Citing This Article" in Google Scholar, more about which below.
  • Unfortunately, JSTOR's standard cited reference search sometimes misses relevant results. If the article title is sufficiently unique, it is possible to perform a more comprehensive, and time consuming, manual cited reference search using JSTOR's proximity operator — "keyword1 keyword2"~#WordsBetween. Example: A researcher wishes to discover how many JSTOR articles cite "Rereading the Maps of the Columbian Encounter" by J. Brian Harley, in Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 82, No. 3 (Sep., 1992), pp. 522-536. According to JSTOR's standard cited reference search, five articles cite Harley's work. However, a basic keyword search for "rereading columbian"~5 returns 21 hits, including the following article not in the original count of five: "Columbus and Anthropology and the Unknown," by Robert Paine, in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 1, No. 1. (Mar., 1995), pp. 47-65. Paine's article cites Harley's earlier article in its bibliography on page 64 (click on "Page of First Match" within the Paine article citation to see this).
  • The problem described above, namely the failure of a formal cited reference search to find all relevant articles, points out a basic rule of citation searching: No citation search, no matter how comprehensive, can ever be considered truly complete. It is always possible that an important, relevant references will be missed by the databases discussed in this guide.


Google Scholar

Google Scholar offers a cited reference search. Look for "Cited by X" if the Google Scholar results list. If you are already looking at the first page of an article in JSTOR, simply click on "Articles Citing This Article" in Google Scholar.


Access to Other Research Libraries

Through the University's membership in various Library consortiums, Stony Brook students, staff and faculty have access to, and/or borrowing privileges at, numerous other research libraries on Long Island, in the greater New York area, and throughout the U.S., Canada, and other countries.

OCLC Research Library Partnership

The University Libraries' membership in the OCLC Research Library Partnership (formerly the Research Libraries Group - RLG) allows Stony Brook students, staff, and faculty with current ID cards to enter and use many major libraries in the United States, Canada and abroad.

In our geographical region, other libraries in the program include: Columbia, NYU, The New School, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, New-York Historical Society, Yale, Cornell, Princeton, and Rutgers.

Full List of OCLC Research Library Partnership Member Libraries

Stony Brook ID holders visiting these institutions may use materials; however, borrowing privileges are not usually available.

Students, staff, and faculty are urged to call ahead to a particular library, before actually going there, to confirm that they will be granted access at their time of arrival. Also, if they need to use a branch library within one of the participating library systems, it should be confirmed beforehand that the branch also takes part in the program and will allow access.

Long Island Library Resources Council (LILRC)

The Long Island Library Resources Council (LILRC) is a regional multi-type library organization serving academic, special, public, hospital and school libraries and library systems in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The LILRC Research Loan Program (RLP), a reciprocal borrowing agreement between member libraries, allows Stony Brook students, staff and faculty to use and borrow material from numerous institutions on Long Island, including Adelphi University, Dowling College, Nassau and Suffolk Community Colleges, St. Joseph's College, Touro Law Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Nassau and Suffolk Public Library Systems.

Students, staff and faculty interested in borrowing material through the Research Loan Program must visit the Reference Desk in the Central Reading Room of Melville Library for an RLP pass.

Full List of LILRC Member Libraries

An up-to-date list of these libraries is also available at the service desk in Circulation Services, 3rd floor of the Melville Library.

New York Public Library

Any person who lives, works, attends school or pays property taxes in New York State is eligible to receive a New York Public Library card free of charge. This gives researchers the opportunity to use important collections in the NYPL system, check out material, and access a wide array of useful electronic resources from on-site or, in a few cases, from home. See the NYPL web site for more information on getting a card.

See their list of databases.

State Univeristy of New York Libraries

Stony Brook students, staff, and faculty have direct borrowing privileges at most other SUNY libraries.