Backward reference searching, also known as chain searching, involves identifying and examining the references or works cited in an article. It is done for the following reasons:
A second-level or second-generation backward reference search is when a researcher examines sources cited by the references used in an initial article. This allows a researcher to identify inconsistencies in the literature. Third-level or third-generation searches are where the references of articles located in a second-level or second-generation reference search are examined. These searches can also go further back.
Backward Author Searching. The works of an author can be examined by doing a backward reference search. This allows a researcher to review an author's previous work and publications, and also the development of their research.
Tools for Backward Searching (Available Through the FAU Libraries):