Citation chaining (sometimes called Reference Mining), like descriptor chaining, is another way to expand your search. It involves reviewing the bibliographies/works cited/references list of particularly relevant articles from your search results list in order to identify additional relevant articles.
In the example below, the topic is "the Russian Orthodox Church under the rule of the Mongols."
Screenshot 1: Searching JSTOR using the search query (mongol* OR tatar OR khan*) AND ("russian orthodox" OR church) with results limited to Academic Articles published between 2004 and 2014, returns 1,848 search results.
Screenshot 2: In that lengthy list of results, many of which were not as relevant as we would hope, we find this article, which seems ideally suited to the topic:
Screenshot 3: By viewing the full text of the article, we see Meyendorff's Byzantium and the Rise of Russia mentioned repeatedly in the citations, which indicates that this book is particularly relevant to the focus of this article and, therefore, likely quite relevant to our topic. The next step is to search the library for this book.
It's a great idea to see if relevant chapters of your textbook, or articles in reference books that you find, have a bibliography/works cited/references list. If they do, go ahead and mine them for articles, books and other kinds of information sources to use in your research!
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