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NPLR 5150: Fundamentals of the Nonprofit Sector

This guide supports NPLR 5150 (Professor Elizabeth Dale) for Fall 2021

Conducting a Bibliographic Trace

As you find books and articles, be sure to mine their references for sources. By tracing cited works you're drawing on the evidence others have used and may find connections that you would otherwise miss. You will also see patterns emerge: works cited by everyone else are worth a look; authors who write a lot about your topic are worth searching by name, etc. Finally, remember that this is the way most scholars search for sources, so if you also search this way, you'll be searching in a very sophisticated and informed manner.

When you've found a good source that's relevant to your topic, pay special attention to:

  • the Literature Review section
  • the References list or bibliography at the end
  • and any other references the source may make

You will find citations for other sources that may be useful to you!

Take down the full citation information for any citations that look interesting, and then search for your new sources!

Google Scholar and Cited By [number]

To search forward in time - to see who has cited a work since it was published - use Google Scholar. When you search for a source in Google Scholar, the result list automatically tells you how many other sources indexed in Google Scholar cite the one that you are searching for. 

Additional Resources: Databases

EBSCOhost Databases

The Times Cited feature is available in some of the EBSCO databases, e.g. Academic Search Complete, Business Search Complete,  Sociological Abstracts, and PsycINFO.  Available only for articles published from 2004-. It lists only those citing articles that are available in the same database; it is not a universal citing tool.

The Cited References is also limited to other articles available through EBSCO.


After you click on Cited References, you will see a  series of boxes to enter information that you have.

cited author                                          cIted title

cited  source                                        cited date

Once you populate these fields, press the search button. To see the citing articles click the checkboxes and then press the Find Citing Articles button.

Google Scholar: Cited By Example

Google Scholar Search

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(206) 296-6208