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Research: Keeping up to date

A centralised repository of information to help those undertaking research especially at Postgraduate level

Introduction

This tab is designed to give you some ideas and suggestions to help you keep up to date with information and research in your areas of research. Basically how do you keep your finger on the pulse without being overwhelmed with information.  

Setting up alerts

What is an Alert?

An alert is an easy way to get recent articles on your topic. You can set up alerts in many databases. Alerts can tell you:

  • when a new journal is published, and what articles it contains (table of contents alerts);
  • they can alert you to new work by an author (author alerts);
  • they can alert you to when an article is cited (citation alerts), or
  • they can alert you when new articles are published that match a saved search (search results alerts).

When you set up a search alert, the database automatically runs your search and sends you any search results added since the last time the search was run. You can set searches to run once a day, once a week, or less often

Setting up alerts in Ara databases

How do I set up alerts in EBSCO databases? (You will need to set up a free personal account with EBSCO to do this) 

How do I set up alerts in Gale Cengage databases? (You will need to set up a free personal account with Gale Cengage to do this)  

How do I set up alerts in ScienceDirect? (You will need to set up a free personal account with Science Direct to do this) 

Alerts in JournalTOCs

JournalTOCs is the largest, free collection of scholarly journal Tables of Contents (TOCs):

  • more than 32,000 journals, including over 14,000 selected Open Access journals
  • set up RSS feeds and Alerts to know when your preferred journals are published and to see their TOCs.
  • register to view your journal list

To create an alert:

  1. Login or register and create an account (top right hand corner)
  2. Search for journals and tick any you would like to follow; e.g.                                              
    This automatically adds it to your list of Followed Journals
  3. Click on your Followed Journals under your login to view them                      
  4. To be emailed when new issues are published, make sure  

How to use JournalTOCs to receive table of contents emails from your favorite journals.

Alerts in Google Scholar

Creating a search alert in Google Scholar

Search result alerts

  1. Try out a search in Google Scholar. Adjust it until you are happy with the quality and relevance of the results
  2. In Google scholar click on: Create Alert
  3. Enter in your email address and number of results you would like
  4. Click Create Alert      
  5. Follow the prompts to confirm the alert. This will involve confirming a link sent to your email address. 

Citation alerts

1. Search for an author or an article

2. On the search result, see example below, click Cited by 526

3. On the next screen of 526 articles cited the above article, click from the left hand side column,

4. Enter your email address, and click Create Alert 

CC0 

Academic writing blogs

CC0

Alerts Vs RSS feeds. The difference?

Both alerts and RSS Feeds inform you about updates, and both allow you to customize how much information you receive. They differ in how you receive the updates.

  • Alerts come in e-mail, at the interval you specify, and let you know when specific items change.
  • RSS Feeds come at periodic intervals, and appear in an RSS reader, which you have installed on your device or accessed via a website or blog. Some services can convert feeds to emails. 

Setting up RSS feeds

RSS = Really Simple Syndication 

RSS is used for frequently updated content typically published on news websites, blogs and academic journal databases.

To receive RSS feeds you usually subscribe to a feed from a blog or similar, and have it delivered to a Feed Readersuch as DigdReader or Feedly

Setting up RSS feeds in Ara databases

How do I set up alerts in EBSCO databases? (You will need to set up a free personal account with EBSCO to do this) 

How do I set up alerts in Gale Cengage databases? (You will need to set up a free personal account with Gale Cengage to do this)  

How do I set up alerts in ScienceDirect? (You will need to set up a free personal account with Science Direct to do this) 

Research communities

Research networks:  You can follow top authors or authors you know by signing up with research sites, which may be global or local in focus. Here are some examples below:

Blogs: You can subscribe to blogs of:

  • Other researchers
  • Organisations/groups
  • Subject blog networks

​Subscribe by getting the blog to send new posts to your email or use a RSS Feed reader.

Social Media:  LinkedIn and Twitter are two examples where people share academic articles and ideas.

Conferences

The outcome of research is often presented at a conference before any reports are published, so searching conference proceedings can be a good way of finding out about the latest research on your topic.

You can include conference proceedings in your database searches as well as on Google Scholar which can be included in your alerts.

See also CONAL, a free conference alert service, which will notify you of conferences worldwide, which match your interests.

To search for conference papers in Google Scholar, add the word "conference" and the year to your search, for example 'conference education 2018'

To search for conference papers in Ara databases limit by "Publication type" to conference proceedings under an "Advanced Search" or "Search options".