If you know an author name and the subject of a journal article, you can use any appropriate article database. This guide is meant to provide pointers for when you are dealing with an incomplete citation or with a citation that you suspect is incorrect. If you have only partial information on a given citation, or do not know exactly where a particular paper comes from, try " Single Citation Matcher" in PubMed or " Cited Reference Search" in Web of Science.
If you have any of the following information shown in the table below, you may be able to find the lost citation using this program.
Example: The only citation information you have is: v.72(6):512. You do not know what journal this article was from. Enter this information into the 'Single Citation Matcher' boxes. PubMed will retrieve the full citations (authors, article titles, and journal names) of least 5 possible papers:
"Just-in-time" clinical information.
Acad Med. 1997 Jun;72(6):512-7.
PMID: 9200584; UI: 97344057
Lack of colonization of 1 day old chicks by viable, non-culturable Campylobacter jejuni.
J Appl Bacteriol. 1992 Jun;72(6):512-6.
PMID: 1644708; UI: 92355443
Leiomyosarcoma of the vena cava.
J Belge Radiol. 1989 Dec;72(6):512-3. No abstract available.
PMID: 2621205; UI: 90153831
Clinical and socio-cultural parameters in Nigerian psychiatric patients. A prospective study.
Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1985 Dec;72(6):512-21.
PMID: 4083057; UI: 86099853
[Quantitative evaluation of T and B lymphocytes in the peripheral blood of patients with psoriasis].
Przegl Dermatol. 1985 Nov-Dec;72(6):512-6. Polish. No abstract available.
PMID: 3879540; UI: 86178508
The ISI Science Citation Index can be helpful, particularly when a citation is suspected to be incorrect (in volume or page number), when you are unsure whether the citation is to a journal article, or when the citation is older (i.e. pre-dating 1970). When you connect to the Web of Science, choose the 'Cited Reference Search' option. When using this database for citation verification, keep the following facts in mind:
Example: You have a citation as follows: Watson CJ. (1960). New Eng J Med. 253:1205. You now this citation to be incorrect, however, since a different article is found on page 1205 of NEJM volume 253. What you do not know is whether it is the page number, volume number, or year that has been cited incorrectly--it is even possible that the incorrect journal title was cited for this article. Using the Web of Science's 'Cited Reference' search option will facilitate the detective work required to locate the correct citation. Two examples of appropriate searches are:
Cited Author: WATSON CJ
Cited Work: NEW ENGL J MED [ 1]
Cited Author: WATSON CJ
Cited Year: 1959 OR 1960 OR 1961
The second search will retrieve the following table of citations:
|WATSON CJ||ARCH INTERN MED||103||436||1959|
|38||WATSON CJ||J LAB CLIN MED||54||1||1959|
|41||WATSON CJ||JAMA-J AM MED ASSOC||175||1087||1961|
|1||WATSON CJ||JAMA-J AM MED ASSOC||175||1807||1961|
|118||WATSON CJ||NEW ENGL J MED||263||1205||1960|
|1||WATSON CJ||NEW ENGL J MED||253||1205||1960|
This search finds that there is only one article that made reference to this article using your original citation. On the other hand, over 100 articles have cited: Watson CJ. (1960). New Eng J Med. 2 63:1205. This is more than likely to be the correct bibliographic citation you were seeking.