All high-quality, scholarly research articles will include a list of references. The reference list is a great place to find related information on your topic. Cited references can help you move backward through the research process and understand how your research topic has been historically researched. Cited references are also great to understand how a research topic can evolve over time.
Some databases like Web of Science or Biological Sciences will even include the references in the record with links to the records for those articles.
Citing references are used to chain "forward" to newer articles that include the article you have found in their references. These articles should be more recent than the original article and can be relevant to your research question or topic. Citing references can help you move forward in the research process to help anticipate research is headed.
Citing references can also indicate if an article relevant to a field of study or controversial. If an article has many citing references--especially if it's a recent article--many researchers are reading it, referencing it, and talking about it. In addition to being useful in discovering the impact of this article in a field of study, citing references can also reveal if the article is of high-quality or low-quality science. Review some of the citing references to determine which is the case.
Some databases include "Related" or "Similar" citations in an article record. When you open an article record, may see a list of or links to articles that are related topically or methodologically to the one you are currently viewing. Databases use different search methods from your search to obtain these similar records. Some articles may be very relevant, while some may be too broad or specific than what you are looking for. These lists are still an easy way to quickly locate more information on your topic.