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.
An "important" paper is one that has changed an area of research in some way. If you are trying to determine if a paper is important consider the following:
Factors affecting citation count:
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.
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 for books or articles using LibrarySearch or if viewing the content online try selecting links for citations located directly in the database record or article.
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.
How to find highly cited papers:
Once you have identified an important or influential source on your topic, cited reference searching can help you find articles that have cited it. You can then see articles that have cited those articles.
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