I am a junior researcher. Recently I was able to prove a result in Graph Theory. I wish to know whether this result is already known in the existing literature of Graph Theory. I am not an expert in searching articles. I used Google and browse through some of the articles in vain.

I shared my result with my advisor. However, since he is not an expert of this field, he couldn't answer to my query.

I was wondering how academic reasearchers tackle this kind of situations. How do you make a good search to find the articles as close to possible to a related work?

  • 3
    Hours and days and weeks of reading and searching and chasing references and thinking up plausible alternet terminology and likely authors, with the help of Google Scholar and MathSciNet and ZBmath and arXiv. And I still sometimes miss entire swaths of related work.
    – JeffE
    Oct 15, 2016 at 16:11

2 Answers 2


For physics, google scholar and Inspire prove to be the best option(Inspire also list the "cited by" section, where you can see where an idea in a paper was applied/extended, and is very useful from this point of view, since for most journals this section require a subscription). These two also includes new papers which in high energy physics appear first on arxiv. However, for other sciences, different search engines are expected.


Besides Google Scholar (and also pure Google) you should try MathSciNet (probably you institution has a subscription) and also zbMATH which both are specific for mathematics.

It also helps to follows "citation paths" forward and backward in time. E.g. start from some article or book that you used and see which works cited that.

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