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ECON 472: Library Research Skills

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Basic Searching Techniques

  • Choose an appropriate resource
    • Books
    • Articles
      • databases
      • specific journals
    • Primary Sources
  • Break down your topic
    • imagine the title of the ideal book or magazine article
    • identify the key concepts
    • think of synonyms or alternate words for each of the key concepts
  • Use appropriate searching techniques
    • boolean operators (and, or, not)
    • phrase searching
    • truncation/wildcard symbols
    • field searching
    • setting limits
    • refining your search (using subject headings/descriptors and other terminology)

End Note Chasing

Most academic/scholarly journal articles will include a list of the articles, books, etc., referenced in the article.

Check to see if we have those articles by searching the JOURNAL TITLE in the Library's catalogue (Omni).

Cited Reference Searching

Cited reference searching is tracing a line of research forward in time. In other words, it is looking for articles which have cited a specific article of interest to your research.

The Library subscribes to two databases which have cited reference searching capabilities: Web of Science and Scopus. Google Scholar also has this functionality.

For a comprehensive search, you should use all three resources as each will vary in its journal coverage.

It is important also to remember that when the article was written can have a significant impact on the number of times it has been cited. For example, older articles, by virtue of being around longer, will have had the chance to be more widely-cited than more recently written ones. So, if you are using cited reference searching to judge the impact of an article, keep this fact in mind.

Web of Science

  1. Click on Cited Reference Search
  2. Enter information (cited author, cited work, etc.)
    You MUST use the journal abbreviation (click on the journal abbreviation list link)
  3. Click on Search
  4. Select the appropriate article(s)
  5. Click on Finish Search
  6. Results List  showing articles citing your chosen article


  1. Perform the search
  2. On the results page, the right column is the number of times cited (cited by)
    • You can sort this column by clicking on the title (Cited By)
  3. Click on the number to view the articles citing the article in question
  4. Results List  showing articles citing your chosen article

Google Scholar

  1. Perform the search
  2. Times cited noted at bottom of each citation