Types of Alerts
What are Alerts?
Alerts are used to stay up-to-date with current research on a topic of interest. You can create following types of alerts:
Table of Content Alerts – Set up TOC alerts for various journals and have the new issue's 'table of contents' emailed directly to you when it is published. Most journals and full-text databases offer this type of alert.
Search Alerts – To stay current on a particular topic, you can enter your search terms or query in a database and save it as an alert. The alert automatically searches the database for the latest records matching your saved searches. Whenever new information becomes available on your topic, you are alerted via email or RSS feed. Most journals and databases offer this type of alert.
Citation Alerts – Use it for a specific citation to be alerted every time it is cited in another publication. Citation alerts are not available in all databases.
Delivery: You can receive alerts in following ways:
Email Alerts – email alerts deliver the latest information right to your inbox. Most databases and websites support this feature.
RSS Feeds – RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. It is also referred to as "Rich Site Summary". RSS is a way to have content from many different websites delivered to you whenever those sites are updated. So instead of having to go to several places to see what is new, you can "subscribe" to different website's RSS feeds. To read your RSS feeds, you will need a feed reader or an aggregator where you can get all your news and updates from a variety of sources in one place. Two popular feed readers are Google Reader or Bloglines. If you have a Gmail account then you already have Google Reader. If not, just follow the instructions to create an account. Here's a video on how Google Reader works.
If you are interested in tracking several journals, RSS feeds might be a better opiton as you can avoid cluttering your inbox. Also, email alerts often entail creating separate accounts with various sites and databases whereas for RSS feeds, you only need one account, that's to your RSS reader.
How do I subscribe to an RSS Feed?
The RSS feed for a site is usually indicated with an orange icon like the one on left or you may see icons such as or To subscribe to the feed, click on the Feed icon and cut and paste the URL in your RSS feed reader.