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BIOL 199 - Using Library Resources: More Assignment Help

Using Citation Linking

The Web of Science (WoS) Core Collection is the premier database for citation searching.  However, many other databases have begun to show citation linking, including Biological Abstracts and Medline.  UR offers these three databases on the same platform.  There is some overlap between the three.  If you want, you can search the three databases simultaneously.

An example of a citation search:

Go to the WoS through either the library's homepage > Databases > WoS


Use the Biology Research Guide > Biology > Biology Research Guide >Databases tab > WoS

Look up one of the papers in WoS that is listed for your assignment or search by a topic or an author or both.  E.g. Warrick J* as author (from the dropdown menu)  + drosophila (as a topic from the dropdown menu).  A typical WoS results list will look like this:



Look at #8 published in Human Molecular Genetics in 2002.  In the right column, it tells you that it has been cited 108 times.  Any of these articles have to be YOUNGER than #8 because authors are using it in their own articles.

Times cited = younger articles

If you open #8, you'll see in the right column the 102 Times Cited and also 68 Cited References:


The Cited References are the articles that were used by the authors to write #8.  So they are all OLDER than #8.  They are the list of articles that typically appear at the end of an article, usually labeled "references" or "bibliography."

Cited references = older articles

Click on the 68 Cited References and look through the journal titles.  Two of the Cited References are review articles: 
       #42  published in the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology and
       #68  published in the Annual Review of Neuroscience
Although both articles are far older than 5 years, both would be considered seminal works since they have been cited more than 100 times each (539 and 836).


If a citation in your list doesn't link out directly to the article you need, search for the journal title in Journal Titles / Journal Locator.

If UR doesn't have access to that journal as an e-journal or print journal, request the article on Interlibrary Loan.

What is a Peer-reviewed Article?

A peer-reviewed article is one that has gone through a process of review by experts in that field before an editor will accept a manuscript for publication in that journal.

Many peer-reviewed journals also contain editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews, etc. that are not part of the peer-reviewed literature.  Very few articles found by searching in WoS, Biological Abstracts, or Medline/PubMed are not peer-reviewed; the other material is not indexed.

How Do I Know If My Article is From a Peer-Reviewed Journal?

Very few articles found by searching in WoS, Biological Abstracts, or Medline/PubMed are not peer-reviewed; the other material -- editorials, letters, communications, book reviews, etc. -- is not indexed.

1.   Check Ulrichsweb (on the Research Databases list) which indicates if a journal is considered peer-reviewed.

2.   Review the journal’s publication details to see if it is peer-reviewed. Information in the About or Submission sections will provide details on the editorial review process.  If the journal is available online, look at the details provided within the database about publication.  Academic Search provides a link and provides publication details, including whether a journal is peer-reviewed.

3.   Look at the official website of the journal on the Web.  Check About or Submission Guidelines to see if it states that the journal is peer-reviewed. Don’t just look at web pages about the journal – go to the publisher’s web page for the most accurate information.

4.   Limit your database search to peer-reviewed journals only. Some databases, such as Academic Search Complete and other EBSCO databases have this feature on the initial search screen. 

What is a Review Article?

A review article is one that gives a current update on the topic.  The best way to judge if an article is a review is to see "Review" in the journal title.  A review article will cite research papers that have contributed to the topic.  Review articles are invaluable in gaining a good foundation of the current thought on a topic.

Top 10 Review Journals in Biology Available at UR

Nature reviews.  Microbiology
Annual review of biochemistry *
Annual review of cell and developmental biology *
Annual review of plant biology *
Annual review of physiology *
Annual review of biophysics and biomolecular structure *
Microbiology and molecular biology reviews
Clinical microbiology reviews
Nature reviews microbiology
Annual review of genetics *

* These review journals are available online through:

Is the Author of an Article a Professional Scientist?

The Author Information field in the citation record will give the primary author's institutional affiliation.  Very few peer-reviewed articles will be written by non-professional scientists.  Most will be written by academic scientists and their department addresses will be included with their educational institution.  Some authors will be affiliated with corporations, government agencies, or foundations -- they are also considered professional scientists.

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