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Social Work Research: Citation Searching

This guide is tailored to help students taking the foundation research class at the School of Social Work.

Using Citations

You can use an article for more than just content.  Check to see:

  • If there are words/phrases in the subject terms or abstract that you can use as search keywords.
  • If there are instruments, tests or measures you want to use in your own research.
  • What else the author has written.
  • If the references (cited works) see usefully for your own literature review.
  • What other articles have cited this article since it was published.

Citing References and Cited By

Use tools like Google Scholar and Web of Knowedge to find an article on a reference list, and find other publications that cite the article.

Resources for Citation Searching

The first two sources consistently offer "cited by" information, the others offers it sometimes.

Known Articles in Google Scholar

If you have an article citation (or title) and want to get to the full-text, consider using Google Scholar Advanced Search to search by article title and then using the Check Simmons Full-Text link to get to the full article.

Link Google Scholar to Simmons Library Resources


Google works with libraries to determine which journals and papers they've subscribed to electronically.  Once you configure the Library Links settings in Google Scholar, links to full-text articles will display in Google Scholar when they're available through Simmons Library.


Use Google Scholar From On-Campus

      To make these links appear, just access Google Scholar from any Simmons computer and the links will automatically be included.

Google Scholar From Off-Campus

  1. Click on Settings link in the upper right corner of Google Scholar.
  2. Choose "Library Links" on the left, type Simmons University and click the "Search" button.
  3. If prompted, check "Simmons University - Check Simmons Full Text"  from the list of results.
  4. Click the blue "Save" button.
  5. Start searching Google Scholar with links to your library's resources (you may need to authenticate yourself to access these resources).


Articulated/Smart Searching

It pays to learn how to execute articulated ("smart") searches in Google Scholar, especially for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. This means leveraging the power of  what are called scope qualifiers like "insubject", "intitle" and "intext."

insubject:"heart rate variability" intitle:("systematic review" | meta-analysis)


or the more relaxed smart search:


insubject:"heart rate variability" intext:("review" | meta-analysis)


It also pays to remember that Google Scholar is an "opportunistic" search engine, as it will try to data-mine any resources that could be of relevance rather than honing to the more narrow constraints of a formal database search (often providing riches not otherwise easily uncovered, and some of the discovered resources can themselves contain references or connections to other highly relevant materials).

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