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KINE 261

Citation Chaining: Use One Source to Find More!

If you find one relevant article on your topic, you can use that article to lead you to previously published articles by following the citation chain backwards. Watch the video below to learn how!

Citation chaining is a research skill that can save you a lot of time when you're trying to find relevant articles, but it can also reveal to you how different studies relate to each other. By following the citation chain, you can get a better sense of how authors have used each other's work to support their theories and arguments, build on on previous research, or to challenge or critique each other's work. 

Backwards citation chaining is especially useful when: 

  • You want to find previously conducted research.
  • You want to cite something that an author is citing. It's always better to read the original source, rather than use a secondary source.
  • You need primary research articles, but found a literature review on your topic.

Citation Chaining: Use Google Scholar to Follow the Citation Chain

You can also follow the citation chain forwards, by looking for newer articles that cite the article you've found. Watch the video below to learn more!

Forward citation chaining is especially useful when:

  • You want to figure out how significant an article is within your discipline (keep in mind that very new articles will be cited by fewer articles than older ones)
  • You want to find more current research on a topic 
  • You want to identify new findings on a topic