Tips on the Use of Social Sciences Citation Index
You may want to search each of your books or articles
through all years of the citation index since each was published. Howitt book could be searched in the "Citation Index" for the years 1975 up through the latest issue of S.S.C.I. Social Sciences Citation Index
is published three
times a year, the first two issues covering January-April and
May-August and the third cumulating the others and completing the indexing to December of that year. Five-year
cumulative issues of S.S.C.I.
have also been published to
make searching faster and easier.As you search through the "Citation Index," beginning
with the year your original article was published, you will
discover more articles on your topic. You should incorporate
them into your list and search them in the "Citation Index,"
too. This process permits you to build a larger, more complete bibliography of the most current literature on your
topic.In your work with Social Sciences Citation Index
may eventually come to the point where certain names
continue to reappear and a select group of articles always
refers to some or all of the articles you have on your list.
When this happens, you have identified the essential core of
the literature on your topic, as defined by workers in the
field. Do not be too concerned if your research does not result in such a closely related set of articles, however; it is
more frequently a reflection of the field of study than of
the effectiveness of your search. S.S.C.I.
contains a wealth
of material, and in some cases you may feel you could add
articles infinitely. You will need to keep comparing the citations to the central topic of your research paper and try to
select only those citations which clearly focus on your topic.
When you finish searching S.S.C.I.
, you are ready to study
the collection of new articles you have identified. You will
want to take notes as you read them and relate their findings
to those of the earlier articles. In studying the new articles
you may discover still more new authors and papers you had
not known about before. If you find them helpful, check
them through the "Citation Index" as well.
Other Author Approaches
To conclude this chapter, it should be pointed out that
if in your search several authors stand out as the preeminent
authors on your topic you should do a thorough author
search. First use the "Source Index" of S.S.C.I.
; then use
the author indexes of the other indexing tools we explained
in Chapter 4 and listed in Appendix iv. S.S.C.I.
is an extremely useful research tool, but not all libraries have it. If
your library does not have Social Sciences Citation Index
you might want to consider going to visit another library.
If you decide to do this, first read Chapter 8 "Using Other
Libraries." Also, Science Citation Index
( Philadelphia: Institute for Scientific Information, 1961-) is a very similar
work which may be a useful alternative for research in psychiatry, neurology, and animal behavior.
|1. ||There are two approaches to searching the periodical
literature: the subject approach (Chapter 4) and the
author approach (Chapter 5).|
|2. ||The primary tool for the author approach is the Social
Sciences Citation Index.|
|3. ||To use S.S.C.I., consult the "Citation Index" under the
names of the authors whom you have on your list of
relevant books and articles generated in Chapters 1-4.
This will tell you who has cited these books and articles.|
|4. ||Then use the "Source Index" to determine the titles of
the citing articles and thus help sort out the useful
|5. ||Each article on your list should be searched for all years
since it was published up to the present.|
|6. ||When certain authors appear to dominate a field of
study, a search for further articles by them would be
appropriate. Use the "Source Index" of S.S.C.I. and the
author indexes of such indexing tools as Psychological