Skip to Main Content
Research Guides

CAMS 210: Social Histories of Computing

Citation Chaining

When you find one relevant source on a topic, you can use it to find additional useful sources. This is sometimes called citation chaining. Mining the bibliography or reference list of an article or book for additional sources is called backward chaining, as you're moving back in time through the scholarly conversation. See tips below for how to locate those cited sources. You can also do forward chaining, by using a source to find more recent work that has cited it. See below for how to do this in Google Scholar.

Find a Source from a Citation

SuperSearch is a good starting place for finding a source from a citation. This is often the easiest way to find an article or book, if we have it in our collections. Try the title in quotation marks (to search it as a phrase), along with the author's name. To focus the search further, go to the Advanced Search, and use the drop-down menus next to the search boxes to specify title and author.

Note: SuperSearch searches a lot of text and a wide variety of sources, which means a search for the title and author can turn up results about the source (like a book review), in addition to (or instead of) the source itself. 

If you don't find your source in SuperSearch, don't despair! Try the following:

  • If you're looking for an article, try the Article Locator. This will work best if you provide the following information: Full title of the journal, year, volume, issue, and the first page of the article. If the article is not found, you'll see a "Request it through interlibrary" loan link. Articles usually arrive quickly, sometimes within a day.
  • If you're looking for a book, search for it in WorldCat. WorldCat is a catalog of books (and other materials) from libraries around the country and the world. You can place an Interlibrary Loan request for the book directly through WorldCat.

Use Google Scholar to Find Newer Research

When you find an article or book that is useful for your research, you probably know to consult its bibliography or reference list to find other potentially relevant sources. In this way, you're tracing the scholarly conversation backwards in time. But you can also trace citations forward to find newer scholarship that cites a source you have in hand.

  1. Go to Google Scholar
  2. Do a search for your source
  3. Click "Cited By" to see works in Google Scholar that have cited your source


You can also search within the "Cited by" results to find sources that mention a particular work or other keyword. Just click on "Cited by," enter a term or phrase in the search box, and check the "Search within citing articles" box before running your search.


Show Wellesley College Library Links in Google Scholar

1. From Google Scholar, click the menu at the top left

2. Click Settings.

3. Click Library links.

4. Search for Wellesley College and check the boxes for Wellesley College - Findit!@Wellesley and Wellesley College - ProQuest Fulltext.