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VTP 525: Ogwo

Need more articles?

If you've only found a few articles that work for you, there are two search methods you can use that might help: looking backward in time, and looking forward in time. 

Image showing a timeline with three citations, each one cited by the previous one

Here's another way of looking at it. Malcolm Knowles is known for his theory of andragogy, or adult learning. The trunk of the tree is Knowles and his theory. The roots represent the people who influenced him. The branches represent everyone who has critiqued or built on Knowles' theory. 

Drawing of  tree, signifies scholarly conversation

Looking backward

Let's walk through the process of looking backward. This process has two parts:

  1. Bibliographic mining: you're "mining" someone's bibliography to find additional sources.
  2. Known-item searching: after you've found something in the bibliography, you'll be looking for a specific (known) item — not just any source on your topic.

Bibliographic mining

Let's say I'm doing research on refugees and mental health, and I found this article:

Wright, A. M., Aldhalimi, A., Lumley, M. A., Jamil, H., Pole, N., Arnetz, J. E., & Arnetz, B. B. (2016). Determinants of resource needs and utilization among refugees over time. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 51(4), 539-549. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-015-1121-3

As I read, I see this excerpt, and I want more information about the study about refugees in transitional limbo (source 9):

Predicting resource needs and utilization after arrival

Previous studies, although limited by cross-sectional designs, suggest that the longer refugees are in transitional limbo during the asylum period, the worse their post-settlement physical and mental health [9]. Previous studies also indicate that refugees who experience serious or numerous pre-displacement traumatic events experience poorer mental and physical health in the host country [10, 11]. Poorer health and quality of life should be associated with higher...

My next step would be to look for the full citation, which I found at the end of the article:

  1. Laban CJ, Komproe IH, Gernaat H, de Jong J (2008) The impact of a long asylum procedure on quality of life, disability and physical health in Iraqi asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 43(7):507–515

Known-item searching

Now that we have a citation, we can search for it. Here's that citation again:

Laban CJ, Komproe IH, Gernaat H, de Jong J (2008) The impact of a long asylum procedure on quality of life, disability and physical health in Iraqi asylum seekers in the Netherlands. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 43(7):507–515

  1. The first thing we need to do is find out the full name of the journal - we can do that by searching Google for the abbreviation in the citation. It turns out that "Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol" is short for "Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology." (It's actually the same journal that the first article was from!)

  2. Next, we need to see if the library subscribes to the journal. Go to the library homepage, and click Find a Specific Journal:

    Screenshot of the library homepage, with 'Find a Specific Journal' outlined in red

  3. On the next page, enter the name of the journal. If the library has it, you should see it in our results list.

    Screenshot of search results from journal title search

  4. Click on the journal title, and take a quick glance at what dates the library has access to (under "Full Text Availability"). Our article is from 2008, so we should be fine.

    Now we can search for the article title. Click the green magnifying glass icon to search. 

    Screenshot of journal page with search box

  5. The article should come up in your results - click Available Online.

    Screenshot of a search result from a specific journal

    Finally - here's the article:

    Screenshot of article discussed

Okay, but what if the library doesn't have the article, or it's not available online?

You can request the article via Interlibrary Loan. We'll send you a digital copy of the article - usually within a week or so.

Looking forward

When we look forward, we're doing something called cited reference searching. Basically, it allows us to see who has responded to, disagreed with, or built upon someone else's publication.

Let's use the example article from the previous page. Here's the citation for that article: 

Wright, A. M., Aldhalimi, A., Lumley, M. A., Jamil, H., Pole, N., Arnetz, J. E., & Arnetz, B. B. (2016). Determinants of resource needs and utilization among refugees over time. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 51(4), 539-549. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-015-1121-3

One of the easiest ways to "look forward" is to search Google Scholar. You may also see a similar feature in certain databases (ex. "Times cited in this database").

Google Scholar search with red line underneath 'Cited by' text

Click on the Cited by link for that citation, and you'll get a list of publications that cited your original publication. 

In this example, only 6 publications cited the original article. However, you might find that hundreds – or even thousands – of people have cited your original article. If that's the case, you can search those citations to narrow down your results - just make sure to click the box next to Search within citing articles.

Screenshot of Google Scholar search results

How to get the articles you see in Google Scholar

There are two ways you can check to see if the library has access to a citation you find in Google Scholar: 

Again – if the library doesn't have access to the article, you can request it via interlibrary loan!

Ask a Librarian