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Scholarly Credentials Toolkit for TCNJ Faculty: JSTOR and Project MUSE

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Table of Contents

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Article Impact: JSTOR

JSTOR earned its reputation as the premier scholarly journal archive. The database offers a cited reference search but not from the basic or advanced search screens. Follow these steps to perform a cited reference search in JSTOR:

  • Execute a standard search for the article in question. If found, click on the article's title to reveal its initial, full-text page.
  • A box titled "JSTOR" might appear in the right-hand column. The box, if there is one, could indicate "X items Citing this Item." Click the link to reveal citations to other JSTOR articles that cite the article in question. Note too the possible presence of a link to "Articles Citing This Article" in Google Scholar.
  • Unfortunately, the standard cited reference search in JSTOR sometimes misses relevant results. If the article title and/or author name is sufficiently unique, it is possible to perform a manual cited reference search using JSTOR's proximity operator: <"Keyword1 Space Keyword2"~#WordsBetween>.
  • Example: A researcher wishes to discover how many JSTOR articles cite "Rereading the Maps of the Columbian Encounter" by J. Brian Harley, in Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 82, No. 3 (Sep., 1992), pp. 522-536. According to JSTOR's standard cited reference search, seven articles cite Harley's work. However, a basic keyword search for <"rereading columbian"~5> returns 32 hits, among which is the following article not in the original count of seven: "Columbus and Anthropology and the Unknown," by Robert Paine, in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 1, No. 1. (Mar., 1995), pp. 47-65. Paine's article cites Harley's on page 64.

A similar technique can be used in Project MUSE to mimic the presence of a formal cited reference search. Click Advanced Search and then choose "Content" from the drop-down menu.

Important Caveat About Reliability of Results

The problem described above, namely the failure of a formal cited reference search to find all relevant citations, points to a basic rule of citation searching: No single database, certainly neither WOS nor even Google Scholar, can be relied upon to reflect the true and complete number of works citing another. It is always possible that important citations will be missed by the tools discussed in the Article Impact section of this guide.

Your best strategy is therefore to use multiple tools to piece together a more comprehensive results list. While this strategy is certainly time consuming, it is the only way to maximize the number of cited references found.

Humanities Librarian

David C. Murray's picture
David C. Murray
TCNJ Library,
Room 216
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