What is an alert service?
Many journal databases and book publishers offer free alert services. These are an effective means of keeping track of the latest research.
Alert services come in different forms:
1. Table of Contents (TOC) alert - provides the table of contents of a newly published issue of a particular journal.
2. Author citation alert - lets you know when a particular article is cited by a new article.
3. Document citation alert - lets you know when a document has been cited.
4. Search Alert - lets you know when a book or article that matches your search terms is published.
Alerts will keep you up to date with new research in your area. They can be delivered to you by email or RSS feeds as soon as they are published or updated. Steps in setting up alerts will vary with the publisher and database.
How to set up alerts
To create an alert, you generally need to register with each database. Some of the main journal databases that offer alert services include:
- BioMed Central - Register
- BioOne - Select Log In
- CSIRO Journals
- Duke Press Journals Online
- OVID Medical Journals - Select My Account
- PubMed - Sign in to NCBI
- Royal Society of Chemistry
- Sage - Sign in
- ScienceDirect - Register Now. View the video.
- Scopus - Register
- SpringerLink - Sign up
- Wiley Online Library - Register
Many academic publishers now send out alerts via RSS or Web feeds. RSS is a popular alternative to email alerts. To get started you need a RSS reader, feed reader, or feed aggregator which will check RSS-enabled sites and download the latest content.
Although specialised RSS aggregators exist, many popular email (e.g. Outlook) and browser packages (Explorer/Firefox) can be used as feed readers.
To sign up to your favourite journal, check the journal site for one of the common RSS icons.