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University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries

Research Guides

Keeping Current in the Literature : Overview

Keep up-to-date with new publications in your field. This guide is related to the Graduate Support Series workshop with the same name.

About This Guide

This guide has been developed, in part, to support the Graduate Support Series workshop of the same name. You can find the current calendar of upcoming workshops here:

Library Workshop Schedule

Research Classes

Overview

How do you stay current with the literature in your field of study or research? If you find this a challenging prospect, our librarians have the tools to help.
Staying up-to-date with what is happening in your area of research may take several forms.  Are you interested in having browsing access to the most current volume of a favorite journal or magazine?  Or, would you prefer to receive an email message or RSS feed to newly-published research on a topic of interest?  In similar fashion, would you like to know when your published article is cited by other researchers? Or, do your enjoy reading blogs and current news from News sites and the popular press?
If any and all of these apply to the information you would like to retrieve, there are open Web resources and library-licensed tools that can serve this process of keeping current.  A selection of these tools and assists are listed, below, by approach or form and on additional pages of this Web guide.

Push Technologies (E-mail Alerts and RSS Feeds)
E-mail alerts and RSS feeds notify you of new content or publications from databases, websites, publishers or other sources.  Instead of checking your favorite websites daily for new content, it can be delivered to you. 

E-mail alerts are automated and easy to use because it is already familiar. You can also save e-mails with important content. However, your updates may get buried with your other email or filtered as spam.

RSS feeds requires some sort of reader.  Most email clients have a built-in reader, but you can also use Google reader, Bloglines, or another feed reader.  These will update with new content as soon as the source is updated. 

Collectors/Organizers
Sometimes staying current means staying organized. The Libraries have several tools that can help.

Citation Managers (Zotero, Endnote, etc.) are ways to keep track of and create bibliographies. Citations that you find are discretely stored so that you can rearange, organize, and compile them throughout your UW tenure and beyond.

Personalization features are available in many databases that allow you to customize your interface environment so that it is best organized to your needs.

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