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Keeping Up To Date: Help


keyboardKeeping Up to Date - Research While You Sleep

Save yourself time and effort by learning how to set up alerts and RSS feeds.  Then sit back and let the information come to you.

The materials cover:

  • how to set up e-mail alerts on a topic of your choice from an online database
  • how to set up alerts for individual journal titles
  • setting up RSS feeds and using RSS feed readers


Keeping up to date: getting started

You can set up alerts for individual journals so that you are alerted whenever a new issue is available.  You can set this up via an individual databases or direct with the publisher of the journal.  You can also use a service such as JournalTOCs.

Journal TOCs logo

JournalTOCs is the largest, free collection of scholarly journal Tables of Contents (TOCs): over 23,000 journals from 2029 publishers. It is for researchers, students, librarians and anyone looking for the latest scholarly articles and alerts you when new issues of your followed journals are published.

In most databases you can save your search and set an alert to inform you when new articles have been added that match your search keywords.  For instructions on setting up an alert on the database SCOPUS checkout the workbook below.  Please not that it is impossible to give instructions for all databases as for each database will be different.

RSS feed logoRSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, also known as 'news feeds', are another way of keeping up to date by allowing you to see when websites of your choice have added new content.

RSS can be used as an alternative to email alerts, allowing you to set up feeds from online databases in your subject area to see details of new journal articles that have been added to the database.

Other web-based services e.g. BBC News website, support RSS and you can set up a feed for an area of news that interests you.

More information on how to start using RSS feeds from

Google Alerts

Google logo

You can monitor the Web for new content by using Google Alerts to get email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Support materials

The workbook below has instructions on how to:

  • Register for JournalTOCs
  • Set up search alerts in an online database
  • Set up an RSS Feed Reader.


Don't forget to use the LibGuide for your subject area to find relevant online databases.  Consult the 'Help' section of each database to check if an alert service is available.

Using material on this page