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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


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 from databases, websites, publishers or other sources. Instead of checking your favorite websites daily for new content, this content can be delivered to you. 

E-mail alerts are easy to use, constructed and automated through the literature database. As with any message you receive via email, though, you will need to manage your updates lest they become buried by other messages. Look to employ filters or dedicated folders in order to preserve these updates. 

RSS feeds require a reader. Many email clients have a built-in reader, but you can also use Feedly, NewsBlur, or another feed reader. These will refresh with new content as the original source is updated. 

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

Citation Managers (Zotero, Endnote, etc.) are software products used to manage citations and format bibliographies/reference lists.Citations that you retrieve can be stored using one of these tools so that you may organize and work with them as they inform your work throughout your UW tenure and beyond.

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

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