Many databases allow you to follow citations. You can follow research ideas by using reference lists and citations to identify key studies.
|Cited references - backward citation searching|
When you search for cited references, you are moving backward in time, examining the reference list and finding articles that may have been missed by database searches - also known as 'backward citation searching'.
When undertaking a systematic or scoping review it is important that you identify key articles and examine their reference lists to identify relevant literature. You will need to record details of these key articles and the relevant references you find.
|Citing references - forward citation searching|
When you search for citing references, you are moving forward in time, examining all the articles that are citing the article you are looking at - also known as 'forward citation searching'.
Databases such as Scopus and Web of Science are good starting points to look for citing references. Google Scholar is another source, but requires additional evaluation as this collection is not curated according to transparent quality criteria. Other databases allow citing references, including MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycInfo.
|Following citations in Scopus|
|Following citations in Web of Science|
|Following citations in Google Scholar|
'If reference lists were examined, specify the types of references examined (such as references cited in study reports included in the systematic review, or references cited in systematic review reports on the same or a similar topic).'
'If cited or citing reference searches (also called backwards and forward citation searching) were conducted, specify the bibliographic details of the reports to which citation searching was applied, the citation index or platform used (such as Web of Science), and the date the citation searching was done.'
- PRISMA 2020 Explanation and Elaboration, p. 6