Citations are a map of scholarly conversations over time. Tracing cited works is an effective way to tap into conversations and find great material that may otherwise be hard to find.
To go back in time -
To go forward in time -
Type the author and title of the book or article into Google Scholar. Click on "cited by" to see who has cited it since it was published. Some library databases also offer this feature. Web of Science has a particularly well-developed citation trace feature which is cross-indexed in Google Scholar.
image of connections among Twitter users courtesy of yankeeincanada
The first highlighted reference includes volume, date, and page number, so it's probably a journal article. Search our journal list to see if we have the Autumn 1985 issue of Critical Inquiry in our library in print or electronic form. Yay, we have this one!
The second has page numbers, but no volume. It's a collection of essays. Look up "Society and Culture in Early Modern France" in the catalog. Yay, we have that one, too.
The third has no page numbers. It's a whole book. Look up "Jesus as Mother" and you'll see we have that one as well. A trifecta.