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Introduction to Research

How to turn your topic into a search, search through library resources and the web, evaluate what you found, improve your writing and citation, and get help from a librarian.

Citation Mining

Citation Mining

Your search strategy begins with brainstorming keywords to construct great searches, but it doesn't have to end there. If you find that you are doing more scrolling than finding, you may find it useful to try citation mining. Citation mining means looking at the citations of books and articles that are related to your topic to find more sources that you can use.

1. All you need to mine citations is at least one good, relevant scholarly article. Below is the first page of the article "Cohort Differences and the Marriage Premium: Emergence of Gender-Neutral Household Specialization Effects" from the Journal of Marriage and Family.


2. Then, simply look at the bibliography (or reference list) of the article.

3. See if the author used sources that could be relevant to your topic. The article cited below is called "The Motherhood Wage Penalty Revisited: Experience, Heterogeneity, Work Effort, and Work-Schedule Flexibility" and may be relevant.

4. Search for the article or book in the University Libraries database to see if we have access to it. Below, the title of the article has been copied and pasted into the University Libraries homepage.

This article is available in full text! 

5. If the article was not available, I would consider using Interlibrary Loan to locate it for free.

Finding Sources Using the Title

The video below demonstrates finding an article on the University Libraries' website using information from a citation. While not all citations you mine will be in the APA citation format, you can use the same strategy:

  1. Copy the most essential information available to you in the citation you are mining. Usually this is the title of the article, chapter, or book.
  2. Paste it into the search bar on the Libraries' homepage. 
  3. Search and see if we have access to it.
  4. If not, request it from Interlibary Loan!