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MUI1020HF: Civic Engagement and Economic Development (Fall 2023)

A research guide for MUI1020 students completing their case study assignment


As part of your research, consider these approaches that go beyond searching by keyword or subject headings.



If you identify a useful article or report, the author(s) may have produced other relevant research. 

Journal article and policy research databases will allow you to search by author but watch for name variants - if the database you are using offers an author name index, use this to ensure you capture all articles associated with an individual or an organization. 

If the relevant content is grey literature and the author is a consultant or an organization, rather than an individual, try looking for the business website associated with the author or the organization's own website - or use some of the advanced Web searching techniques discussed in this guide.


If you identify a useful journal article, look at the references included in the article.

Retrospective citation searching - following the trail of references found in an article - may involve clicking the reference links to view the full-text OR searching for the full-text of the article citation in your current database or using the Library's Article Finder tool. 

Prospective citation searching - looking for articles that have have been published after the article in question and which reference it - can only be done in selected databases.  Web of Science: Core Collection's Cited Reference Search and Google Scholar are good tools for citation searching.

  • Web of Science: Core Collection: Look for the 'Cited Reference Search' option above the main search bar.  Short videos that introduce cited reference searching on this platform can be found here.

  • Google Scholar: Look for the 'Cited By' link beneath each article. Remember to sync Google with the University of Toronto Library's own collections to ensure seamless access to journal content.

While not strictly speaking citation searching, alternative metrics that measure the impact of research through non-traditional scholarly channels, e.g. Twitter, blogs, Facebook, can be used to surface other researchers or organizations that reference the work in question.  Altmetrics provides a free bookmarklet that allows you to see the impact or reach of any publication with a DOI. 


The 'who cares?' strategy involves going 'straight to the source', i.e. websites of organizations that may offer relevant content.  This strategy can be especially helpful if a keyword searches have not been productive.

These sources or websites can be identified by thinking about who or what cares enough to:

  • collect,
  • publish,
  • distribute, or
  • sell the kinds of analysis, insights or data you are seeking. 

Organizations that care enough might include:

  • Consulting firms
  • Manufacturers or large employers invested in the issue or topic you are researching
  • Organizations that represent those manufacturers or employers, e.g. boards of trade, employer councils
  • Small business organizations or advocacy groups
  • Local, regional, provincial or government bodies
  • Citizen groups or coalitions
  • Non-profit organizations, think-tanks, university research institutes.

Some of the output of these organizations may be captured in the grey literature sources highlighted in this guide but some may not.