Exercise: Lateral Literature Search¶
This is a short exercise in navigating the tree of research citations.
Become familiar with the Web of Science database.
Practice finding related research by identifying common root citations.
Pick a soft robotics paper for which you wish to explore related work. It’s fine to pick something we’ve seen or something new.
Find two or more other related papers.
Normally, “related” simply means written on a common topic, but for this exercise we wish to find papers by other authors which share one or more references in common.
The general process is to choose a ‘root’ paper from the references then search for other works which cite the same root. The root paper should be ‘notable’ and old enough to have gathered some citations. The choice takes both practice and trial and error. A popular survey paper can have thousands of citations on diverse unrelated topics; a highly specialized or recent paper may have no citations at all.
If you are using IEEE Xplore, each paper page includes a ‘References’ section and a ‘Citations’ section (if the paper has been cited). This makes it simple to follow a reference link back in time and then a citation link forward in time.
Web of Science is a much more comprehensive database of the graph of citations. The basic usage pattern is to look up a paper, then find the “Times Cited” list and look within it.
Write a site post with a brief synopsis of your process, including citations for the source, root, and related works.
Short blog post.