Skip to Main Content
Chat With Us

CHEM6611: Scientific Communication in Chemistry


3d. Citation Searching

Overview of library resources supporting graduate research

Citation Searching

In theory, authors cite an item because it is relevant to the topic of their own work. The original and best-known database for citation searching is Web of Science. Other databases have added this feature, but their citation coverage is weak for older articles.

Web of Science retrieves more citations for this older article than SciFindern does

Web of Science SciFindern
2017 article, cited 13 times in Web of Science. Citation link circled in red. Same 2017 article, cited only 13 times in SciFinder-n. Citation links circled in red.

Citation search tips:

  • Each library database covers a different range of journals, and citation search results will be limited to that collection of journals
  • Because there are many ways to incorrectly cite an article, a citation search is never 100% complete
  • Sometimes authors cite research because they are discussing problems with the methods and/or conclusions
  • Try alternative versions of author names (Li Wu / Wu Li; Müller / Mueller)
  • Scan search results for citations created by the citing author's errors

Search SciFindern, Reaxys (use the Query Builder), PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar for articles citing "Amine Functionalization via Oxidative Photoredox Catalysis: Methodology Development and Complex Molecule Synthesis," by Beatty and Stephenson, (Accounts of Chemical Research, 2015, 48(5), 1474-1484). Compare the results. Why do they vary so much between databases?