Staying current: keep your research up-to-date
See our complete guide (pdf 849KB) for more details and set-up information.
What are alerts
Alerts can be created to stay-to-date with current research relevant to your topic. Alerts notify you by e-mail or RSS feed of new records that are added to a database that match search terms you have specified.
Principles for setting up alerts
Register or set up an account with the database provider. These are free and typically involve creating a username, a password and providing an email address. Remember these details for accessing saved searches and modifying alerts.
You can use a database alerting service to save a search as an alert. The alert automatically searches the database for the latest records matching your saved searches. The database will then send you updated relevant results by e-mail or RSS feed.
Table of Contents Services (TOCS)
You can choose to receive an alert listing the table of contents each time a new issue of a journal is published. You can subscribe directly from some journal websites, from a database like EBSCO EDS, or you may choose to use an alerting service such as JournalTOCs.
Alerts in ISU Library online catalogue
You have a favorite author and you want to be notified whenever ISU Library gets a book written by him or her, you're doing a long-term project on a topic and you want to be notified when ISU Library gets any new book on that topic; you may want to set up a custom search alert from Catalogue.
Curated ISU Library alert service for academic publications
ASAP (Alert Service for Academic Publications) is a curated alert service proposed by the Library to keep you informed of recently published academic and scientific literature about subjects relevant to the University's curriculum. This service is publicly available.
You will receive an email notification every 2-3 weeks.
These are online 'diaries' of information. There are thousands written on all types of subject. The content depends on the author but they can be a very useful source of information. The majority of blogs can be subscribed to using RSS feeds.
Although podcasts are not restricted to current awareness they are a great way of finding up-to-date information.
Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter are another way to keep up to date. A lot of institutions now have 'fan' pages on Facebook which can be 'subscribed' to. Twitter is often used by organisations to communicate more practical short term information and news.
Setting up an RSS feed
RSS feeds take the new information from websites or databases and "feed" that information to a single page called a RSS reader or RSS aggregator. RSS benefits readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favorite websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place.
Need Help? Contact your librarian.