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*Reusable LibGuides Boxes: Finding Similar Sources

Find Similar Options

Once you have found a good starting source, it's easy to find more! Many search tools provide options to find related/similar items.

Google Scholar:  

Highlights the Related Articles link underneath a Google Scholar search result

Academic Search (EBSCO):

Highlights the Find Similar Results option within EBSCO databases

When You Have Already Identified a Good Source

Backwards Reference Searching

What it yields:  

It looks into the sources that your author referenced. This means the sources have already been vetted by your author for credibility, and you know that they are related to the topic at hand. However, it also means that the sources must have been published before your original source, so you will be retrieving older materials.

A vintage-style pocket watch

How to do it: 

  1. Look through the reference page of your source. 
  2. Identify sources that seem relevant or interesting. 
  3. Track down the full-text of these sources.

Tools to use:

Forward Reference Searching

What it yields:  

Lego homeage to the Back to the Future movie. DeLorean flying in the sky.

It looks into the newer sources that have cited your original source. It is a good indicator that the sources will be on related topics and of good quality.

How to do it: 

There are several tools to help you identify which newer sources list your original source on their reference page.

Do You Remember ... The Future? by JD Hancock. Used under CC BY 2.0

Tools to use:

Search by Author

Sketch of a face with glasses

Most scholars tend to specialize in a certain area. It's likely that they will have authored other items about similar topics. There might even be multiple publications about the same study or findings.

So instead of searching by keyword, search with your author's name to see what else he/she has done!


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Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937

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