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Keeping Current in the Literature : Journal Content and Topic Alerts

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

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Creating Alerts in Pubmed

Pubmed is a widely-used database; because it is freely available, it is something that can be easily accessed beyond the network boundaries of UW-Madison.

Subject, Author, and Journal Table of Contents searches in Pubmed can be saved as email Alerts. Instructions are available via MyNCBI Help-Saving and Managing Searches .

Video tutorials are available via Pubmed Tutorials--Quick Tour , or via the NIH site--see the video for Save Searches and Set Email Alerts.

Subscribing to Table of Contents from Journals

To obtain the most recent publications from journals in your field, you can create a subscription to the table of contents, to all new publications, or to publications on a particular topic.  These subscriptions will send material to you via RSS feed or e-mail.

JournalTOCsis an initiative of Heriot-Watt University and was created in 2009 with funding from the JISC Rapid Innovation Grants. It is the biggest searchable collection of scholarly journal Tables of Contents (TOCs). Find TOCs to more than 29,024 journals directly collected from some 2835 publishers. Highly recommended resource!

Publisher websites: Publisher websites will generally have the most current content and are a great place to start if you would like to receive updates to the table of contents. Frequently, you can find links to the table of contents RSS feed or e-mail alert on each journal's webpage.You will likely need to sign-up for an account with the publisher.

BrowZine: BrowZine is an app for mobile devices and laptop/desktop computers that allows you to browse, read, save and monitor scholarly journals. UW-Madison users can access many of our licensed scholarly journals through this product. See the BrowZine Information on the UW Libraries website for details.

Subject Databases: You can also set up an alert or RSS feed in most databases where the search is constructed to be the title of the journal. Look to change the field you are searching to "source", "journal", (etc.) and then save as a search alert. Most databases require registering a user name and password in order to save individual searches and to use the alerts feature.

Using Databases to Create Alerts to Subjects/ Topics

Databases: Databases may update their content slightly less regularly and you may experience some lag time between publication and notification. However, database searching allows you to search multiple journals at once for a particular topic and receive alerts when new content matches your search criteria. 

Once you have created a search in a database, you can create an alert that will automatically run that search at an interval of your choice and return new results via e-mail or RSS feed. These search alerts can help you monitor new results in a particular journal, by a particular author, or for a particular topic.

RSS Readers and Browser Features

RSS News readers/aggregators:

Browser Features:

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