I'm sure that this must come up a lot when writing papers.

Reference A1 gives a lit review of a field. A passage talks about paper B1, and I summerise B1 also. How do you make it clear in your writing that reference B1 was found through reference A1 (after all does A1 not deserve credit for bringing this to your attention??)

And furthermore that if you are paraphrasing A1, who has made reference to B1, you ensure that the paraphrasing is made crystal clear. (For the record lets assume that one has read reference B1 as every good academic should! And that you agree with A1's summary of the work.)


does A1 not deserve credit for bringing this to your attention??

Not really, however it is often beneficial to the reader to include a reference to a review paper, as it may be a good aid to their own understanding, as presumably it was for you.

e.g. "A good overview of the field can be found in A1".

ensure that the paraphrasing is made crystal clear.

State it explicitly.

e.g. Author A1 (2017) gives a good review of recent research into ...., they note that in B1 ....

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I think the best guide to what to cite or not is the truth: if you became aware of X due to reading Y, mention Y (and X, of course). To do otherwise misleads your readers about what you actually did.

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I employed a strategy similar to this when writing my thesis and dissertation:

Author, A (2000) provides a nice explanation of theory B1 originally presented by Researcher, B (1990). Author, A clearly identified and succinctly summarized the main finding which was the chicken crossed the road to get to the other side. Interestingly, this summarization left out the one point in the seminal work by Researcher, B. It was suggested that the egg came before the chicken. It is possible that Author, A was not interested in that finding but current research interests warrant further investigation.

The following is a summary based largely on findings presented by Author, A (2000). Blah blah blah

To further comprehend the current issues being addressed we should take one step further and present our interpretation of the data presented by Researcher, B (1990). Blah blah blah

Hope this gives you some sort of idea or at least another plausible way to solve your issue.

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