The literature search now has a (partially enabled) feature which extracts references from documents where the author has cited themselves. It also counts citations of that reference in other documents.
This allows users to follow a chain of research backwards and forwards (as cited in links will always be in the future, with references being in the past).
These features are in testing but are live for users in the text search as well fyi an example search:
There is no engineering to make cited papers ‘preferred’ by the search engine in terms of ranking as, whilst the association between keyword and relevance is strong, it is not clear (to me) that this is true for the association between citation count and relevance.
And anyway as we are only indexing a couple of hundred thousand docs so far we dont have a big enough sample size for ‘cited in’ counts to be comprehensive. Their main use is for following chains of research.