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Citation Chaining

Using reference lists to find additional relevant articles and books

What is Citation Chaining?

If you're conducting a literature review or struggling to locate relevant sources for a research project, you may want to use a research strategy called citation chaining to help find sources related to your topic. Citation chaining is a method by which you trace an idea or topic both forward and backward in time either by sources that have cited a particular work or through the references that a particular work has cited. This idea of linking one source to another, which then links to another, creates a chain of related sources or citations.   

Backward Chaining

Involves looking at a published work's references to find other material that covers similar topics. 

Forward Chaining

Involves researching the sources that have cited a particular work to find more recent material covering similar topics.