Authors of scientific papers usually use the introduction of the paper to introduce the subject of the paper by reviewing previous work in that field, i.e. the works that serve as the foundation of the current research they have conducted.

Therefore, it is fairly easy to get acquainted with the subject in general, because you get a bunch of relevant references right from the start.

However, it often happens that when searching for papers on a certain topic, the best match for my search is a paper from a few years back. While most scientific knowledge is viable for a decent amount of time (really depends on the field, but as a generalization), sometimes I want to know what progress has been made (if any) in the specific field of research I'm interested in.

So my question is: Is there a simple and convenient way to find later papers about a certain topic?

In detail

How exactly do I do it? If, for example, I have this paper from 2013, how do I find newer papers about the same subject?

  • 43
    See what papers cited that from a few years ago.
    – user68958
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 6:16
  • 3
    Click on 'see all', in the 'Cited by other articles in PMC' box (or just add /citedby at the end of your URL): ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768229/citedby
    – Droplet
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 8:05
  • 1
    Try ‘mendeley’ reference manager, sometimes I got automatic update (some of them are useful) based on my added references.
    – Mithun
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 8:38
  • 1
    @corey979 Isn't it frowned upon to write answers in the comments?
    – spacetyper
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 17:23
  • 1
    @spacetyper One-line answers are frowned upon perhaps even more.
    – aeismail
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 18:38

6 Answers 6


A simple way that I usually follow to find newer papers about the same topic is using google scholar. Google scholar gives you the ability to find papers that cited the paper you are interested in, and those papers are usually published after the paper you are interest in has been published (i.e. more recent work).

For the example you provided in your comment, google scholar gives me 57 articles/results that cited your example

Click at the "cited by" link to see the more recent articles

  • 9
    Checking "related articles" might also be worth it.
    – Tommi
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 8:05
  • You can also filter papers published since a particular year in the left panel.
    – GoodDeeds
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 13:48
  • 13
    (This might seem obvious, but I've found many folks don't notice...) The "Cited by #" is a link; once you go there, you will have a list of results that are all scholarly articles citing your original article. You can then use the checkbox at the top of the list and the regular Google search bar to "Search within citing articles". This is a useful feature for narrowing your results, especially when you end up with a list of citing works in the hundreds or thousands (rare for most articles, but quite common for seminal works and many books).
    – 1006a
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 15:49

In addition to Google Scholar, you can also use Web of Science. For the article you gave, some keywords would be "Postpartum psychiatric disorder" and "pregnancy". You can search Web of Science for papers on this topic, i.e. any paper with all four words in the abstract and / or the title.

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You can refine the timespan (2013 to 2018 for example), search for the complete phrase (enclose the phrase with inverted commas), search for individual authors, and so on. After performing the search, you'll reach a screen where the left-hand column lets you further refine the results, e.g. by excluding all social science papers. As of time of writing there were 1607 papers matching this search (I clearly used overly general search terms).

Web of Science is more exclusive than Google Scholar - it indexes only journals that have SCI impact factors, while Google Scholar indexes everything. Google Scholar is also free while Web of Science isn't (however if you are affiliated with a university, chances are very good your university library has access). Which to use is up to your requirements.

  • 3
    Note that Web of science also allows for searching papers that cite a reference. I use a lot this feature to check for papers that "follow a trend" represented by a foundational book or paper.
    – Miguel
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 15:24

If have some time for a non-simple way, you can datamine arxiv with this tool.

  • Probably, it can be modified for biorxiv. Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 13:35

Check the publication list of the authors of your article. If they continue to work on the topic, they will further publish article and give talks.

You can do the same for authors from papers that cite your paper.


If your university has a paid subscription to Elsevier, then you also probably have access to https://www.scopus.com, which has the "cited by" feature (similarly to Google Scholar) and may return you slightly different results.

Moreover, it has much more powerful search filters.


This is probably a field-dependent question, but Google Scholar is a good start.

I do cosmology in a physics department, so I'm most familiar with Inspire and NASA ADS. Both of these are indexing tools that attempt to link citations for high-energy physics and astronomy literature respectively. These can do useful things like give you an RSS feed of citations of a paper (and it's easy to set up alerts whenever there's a new citation).

In my experience these databases get updated more quickly than Google Scholar and have more complete citation links. There might be something similar for your field.

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