Biology Research: Citation Chasing

Citation chasing is a great way to expand a search for articles on a subject. The Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science defines citation chasing as “A legitimate research technique in which the bibliographies of works already located in a literature search are examined (“mined”) for additional sources containing further information on the topic.”

Citation chasing can be done in two directions: backward in time by finding sources cited within a research article – often listed in a bibliography or references section – or forward in time by looking for sources that cite the article itself.

This module will guide you through both types of searches using a series of very short video tutorials. Use the links at the top of the page to access the research tools shown in the tutorials. If you have questions about citation chasing, contact Judy Mishriki in the library or at

Use the controls at the bottom of each tutorial in YouTube to enlarge the video or to view with captions.

IMPORTANT! Before using Google Scholar, configure it to access the full articles available through Penn State University Libraries by following these quick and easy VIDEO or PDF directions.


Chasing Citations Using Google Scholar  (3:11 min.)

Chasing Citations Using Web of Science or Biological Abstracts (4:16 min.)

Topic Searching in Biological Abstracts(2:49 min.)


What is a Scholarly Journal Article?  (2:56 min.)

How to Recognize a Scholarly Journal Article (1:54 min.)

How to Access Penn State Library Databases (1:16 min.)


Need help with information research? ASK a librarian!
Contact Dennis Phillips, Head Librarian in the library or at
or look for the ASK a Librarian chat tab while searching library websites and resources.