In order to understand a paper better, someone suggested reading the commentary of a paper X first before actually reading the original paper. However, this seems to be a nontrivial task since there is no easy way to forward-track papers that cite one specific paper (i.e. paper X) while backward-tracking is straightforward.

More generally, is there tool/service that could build citation graph of a pool of papers, which might be one way to do both forward and backward tracking.

1 Answer 1


Google Scholar is one of several repositories that has such a citation graph (and I find it the most straightforward for doing the task you are suggesting).

Every entry in Google Scholar that has been cited and had those citations tracked in Google Scholar comes with a "Cited by N" link; clicking that link gives you a list of all of those citations.

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You can also search within those citing articles.

  • 3
    Indeed. Web of Science certainly has this same feature. Heck, the Citation Index reference books back in the dark ages pre-web also had that feature. Go ask your local research librarian...
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 21, 2019 at 18:07
  • 4
    @JonCuster Yep. My first reaction to this question was confusion that someone didn't know this, but then again someone has to be one of the lucky ten thousand every day xkcd.com/1053
    – Bryan Krause
    Feb 21, 2019 at 18:13
  • You could maybe use Google Alert mail service and set the title of the paper or identifying number as search term, than you get a mail notice. Problem being, the paper must have a clear identifier, some journals use the DOI in the references, many not. Some journals use non-DOI identifying numbers for their articles Feb 21, 2019 at 18:22

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