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Useful resources for 4th year biology thesis students at UTSC.

What are citations?

In scholarly publications, citations are a list of sources usually located at the end of an article or book chapter.  Depending upon the conventions of the different style manuals, these lists may be called references, works cited, bibliographies, or endnotes.  To some extent, these words are synonymous, but they all contain citations.

Review articles

Review articles synthesize known research on a specific topic. They typically summarize past research, identify important people in the field, outline recent advances, and point out gaps in a body of knowledge. 

Review articles are well-cited, and can provide a great source of citations as a starting point for more extensive research.

Scopus help

Citation indexes and forward chaining

Forward chaining allows you to move forward in time to find articles that cite a previously published work, usually using citation indexes.  Keep in mind that there is a period of delay between when an article is published and when it is cited by other researchers and begins to appear in citation indexes.  A very recent article may have few forward citations.

Backward chaining

You can use articles or books you have already found as a starting point to get additional relevant materials on your topic. Look for a list of citations listed at the end of the publication. The list may be called 'References', 'Bibliography', or 'Works Cited', depending on the referencing style that was used in the publication.  Locate these items by searching in the Catalogue, for books, or in Article Finder, for articles.

This technique is called backward citation chaining.

Citation alerts

Sign up for citation alerts through Web of Science or Scopus to be notified by e-mail whenever an article on your alerts list has been cited by a new article.