Cited reference searching is a way of finding articles that have cited a previously published work. Because many databases index each citation listed in a bibliography, it is possible to search these cited references. One can follow a particular cited reference, or cited author, forward in time to find more current articles that have also cited that author or work.
You may wish to follow cited references for several reasons:
At many universities, citation searching is used as one means of evaluating the research quality of faculty. The basic premise is that the more times an author is cited, the more important s/he is. Although a high number of citations can indicate that an author or article has had a major impact, other factors should be considered:
It is important to note that because of problems inherent in citation analysis, it should not be the only means of faculty evaluation.
When you find an article or book that is essential to your research topic, you usually look at the bibliography of sources that author used.
But it can be equally important to find out who has cited that article or book in more recent research, via cited reference searching.