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How to figure out which articles are relevant to your work

How do you find important papers for a topic you're interested in? It's a good idea to ask an expert (and you should do that before you do anything else) but you can't count on *anyone* knowing every piece of important work in your field anymore. The field of HCII is finally getting some age to it, and that is a good thing.


you need to figure out the right "keywords". You do this by searching for

papers with different keywords until you find at least one paper that's

relevant. That's all you need.

Next, you need to figure out how to find other similar papers. Look at

the keywords in the paper, write down the ones that relate to your problem.

You can use them to search for other papers. Look for the author's home page.

Figure out who the authors are. Who did which part of the work? Who is the

advisor, who are students or collaborators? What are the research areas of

these people? Likely, one or more of them will have other relevant publications.

Finally, trace the tree. Any decent papers will reference other relevant

work. You can find this by looking at the reference section at the end of

the paper. Also, many papers (especially if they are older) will be referenced

by other work. You can find referring papers using what's called a citation

index. Comprehensive citation indexes can be found in libraries (there's

a link to an online one below).

You also want to find the actual text of papers, rather than just the

reference and abstract info. These days, in computer science, you rarely

need to go to the library. If a search at one of the sites below doesn't

turn the paper up, try looking for the home pages of authors. They usually

have an electronic copy available (or might be willing to email one to you

if you ask).

    * Google Scholar is a great place to start. Among other things, it will link right back to the CMU version of the online article if you are on campus. 

    * The DBLP bibliography server. Search for "DBLP" and the name of a paper or an

      author in google, and you'll get a link to a page that has the complete

      reference and links straight to the digital library (e.g. ACM DL) that

      holds the pub.

    * Very complete set of bibliographies (even mirrors HCIbib, etc.)

    * ACM digital library (ask me if you need a way to access this)

    * A great Citation Index, also see: A graph visualization of the same

    * Also, don't forget our very own library (and by the way, you can configure google scholar to link directly to it)

   * Thoughts by Gail Kaiser on how to search for related work