When you follow a citation trail, you are looking for the resources that have either:
(1) been previously published and are referenced within the item you're reading, or
(2) been published after the item you're reading, using it as a reference
Let's say you are reading an article published in an academic journal in 2012.
The author has referenced several other articles that you would also like to read. Using the article's bibliography, you hunt these down. In a sense, you are following a citation trail back in time. This is called backwards searching.
As you continue to read the 2012 article, you decide this is a particularly important publication. You would like to see the articles that have been published since 2012 that have referenced it. Using a database, you hunt these articles down. In this case, you are following a citation trail forward in time. This is called forward searching.
1) Find your article in the UofT catalogue and click on the article's title. This will take you to the item record.
2) Find and click on 'Citations' on the left side of the article's item record.
3) "Citing This" allows forward searching. Clicking here will show you all items referencing this article that you can access through UofT Libraries.
4) "Cited In This" allows backward searching. Clicking here will show you all items that this article references available through UofT Libraries.
Searching for academic resources through ProQuest covers many, many databases from across dozens of different disciplines. ProQuest covers databases focused on the life sciences (e.g. biology, zoology, genetics, etc.), physical sciences (e.g. physics, chemistry)social sciences (e.g. anthropology, sociology, political sciences, history), and health sciences. Additionally, ProQuest includes databases covering education, business, and engineering. It is also a primary way to access academic dissertations and theses. This wide coverage makes ProQuest very important for searching citation trails because it may include titles not available through the library catalogue or other databases.
Unfortunately, ProQuest offers no direct way to search backward for its articles. For backward searching, you will need to consult the bibliographies of the article you are working with.
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