In google scholar, it is easily possible to obtain a list of articles that cite a specific article. Web of science and scopus also offer this feature, if you manually enter the article identifiers (e.g. doi or database identifier).

However, to automatically (api-wise) obtain a list of articles that cite a certain reference (cited-by) seems to be very hard. I'm able to query metadata via the respective APIs of web of science and scopus, but the cited-by features seem to be fenced. For crossref, my credentials are not sufficient as well.

As far as i can see, only pubmed offers this option, but my field is not related to (bio)medical applications.

The point is, organisations giving you access to do this by hand apparently do not like you to do it automatically. This is information that is not behind some paywall so I do not understand.

Q: Has anyone bumped into this as well, an explanation for it, and suggestions to get access to a list of citing articles in a programmatic way?

  • Have you considered just contacting the people running those sites and asking for access to the data, potentially for a fee?
    – nick012000
    Commented Oct 19, 2019 at 2:00

2 Answers 2


Try OpenCitations.

Using OpenCitations' COCI (guideline for their REST API here), you should see all references to {DOI} via https://opencitations.net/index/coci/api/v1/citations/{DOI}.

Example: There are 243 works citing the paper 10.1177/03058298020310031201 (according to CrossRef: is-referenced-by: 243). Use this DOI in COCI to see all these 243 references DOI-by-DOI.

  • In the meantime, I found a kind of workaround that seems to work with scopus. However, this is definitely the right answer. Thank you!
    – andwerb
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 8:08

https://pypi.org/project/scholarly/ provides an example "demonstrating how to retrieve an author's profile then retrieve the titles of the papers that cite his most popular (cited) paper."

  • 1
    I agree that scholarly is a good way to do this, tried it out and initially it worked. But now it got stuck on captchas. I would like to do it in a way according to 'terms and services' and without solving captchas. Which scholarly certainly doesn't allow.
    – andwerb
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 20:31

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