Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Banner Image

Information Literacy Skills for Research (Engineering): Locate - Trace References

Overview

How do you find more articles if you have a research paper by using Trace References?

In Trace References, you could perform either one of the following:

  • Backward Search
  • Forward Search
The above methods could help in finding out additional keywords/concepts, then you use Information Search Process to search for more articles.

Tracing References

Watch this video to learn how to get many papers by using just 1 research paper.  You can do this by tracing the references listed in the reference list of the research paper (backward search) and tracing other documents citing the research paper (forward search).

Locate - Trace References

Trace References means you are tracing references listed in the reference list or a bibliography of a research paper.  You usually trace references when you want to read the references or information sources the author of the research paper used to support the statements in his paper.

In Trace References, you could perform either one of the following:

  • Backward Search
    • References (Reference List) : tracing the bibliography/references of the paper, to understand the origins of paper that you are reading
    • Author (Prior Works) : tracing the papers published by the author(s) prior of the paper that you are reading
  • Forward Search
    • Citing Articles (Cited By) : tracing papers who cited the paper that you are reading
    • Author (Subsequent Works) : tracing the papers published by the author(s) after the paper that you are reading

An example to illustrate the points above, we have the following research paper:


Scopus (as of 25 July 2021) shows:

  • Backward Search
    • References (Reference List) : 10 references
    • Author (Prior Works) : 8 papers by Thean A.; and 169 papers by Leburton J.-P.
  • Forward Search
    • Citing Articles (Cited By) : 47 citations
    • Author (Subsequent Works) : 417 papers by Thean A.; and 126 papers by Leburton J.-P.

The links of the references in the Reference List and Cited By will bring you to the record of these documents.  Therefore, in Trace References in Scopus, you are led to many more documents which are related to the research paper you started with.


Given the author names, you may perform Author Search, i.e. search by first name, last name, or full name as well as variations or combinations of their initials.

An example of Author Search in Engineering Village: