An alerting service or Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) enable you to keep up to date with the latest research and literature in your field of study. An alerting service saves you time as it eliminates the need to re-do searches.
Table of Contents (TOC) Alerts -- Receive the table of contents of the most recent issue of a specific journal(s). It is one of the best ways of keeping up to date with the latest articles, current research and publishing trends in your field.
Search Alerts -- Search alerts are set up to provide automatic e-mail notification whenever new search results become available in a database (author's publication, keywords, or other search criteria). You will be able to connect to the citation, download the citation, and full text (when available) from the alert
Citation Alerts -- Be notified when someone cites a specific article
An RSS reader allows you to view, add, delete, rename (when needed), and organize RSS feeds for TOC alerts, search alerts, and citation alerts. An RSS reader can be the one place you need go to keep up with the literature.
1. Choose an RSS reader. There are many RSS readers available. If you use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, the RSS feed is directly readable and you can subscribe to it by choosing one of the suggested applications. Feedly is free and easy to use. My Yahoo! is another web-based RSS reader. Internet browsers can be used as an RSS reader, but they are less effective at managing them. Dedicated RSS feed software can be downloaded for free.
2. Add RSS feeds. One of the easiest ways to add RSS feeds is to cut and paste an RSS feed link into a RSS reader. Anytime the word RSS or the RSS icons or or are shown, it should be possible to create a link for RSS feed that can be copied and pasted into an RSS reader.
How to get RSS feeds in your reader?
There are several ways to get RSS feed into an RSS reader. The most straightforward way is to find or create an "RSS link" for the search or the table of contents. Simply paste the link into your RSS reader.
Wherever you see an RSS icon, or the words "RSS feed", it should be possible to create an RSS link.
Email is another way to receive alerts. Alerts are sent on a regular schedule. The content of the alert may be provided in the email or it may only provide a link to the content. Note that every new journal issue or search alert update means another email. Keeping track of alerts by email can be daunting.
General Instructions for Search Alerts
Options may be different from database to database, but the steps listed below are typical.
1. Create a free account with the database or publisher
2. Run and save a search
3. Request that the search be run automatically and have the results sent to you. For use in an RSS reader, look for a way to create a link for RSS feed to paste in the RSS reader.
Citation alerts allow a researcher to track when a specific article has been cited. Databases such as Science Direct, Scopus and Web of Science provide citation alerts so that a researcher is notified automatically if his/her article has been cited. Refer to the section below for guidelines on how to set up citation alerts.
Various databases offer this very useful service to assist the researcher to keep up to date. In most cases you will be required to register on the database to be able to make use of this feature free of charge. Refer to the list below for information/help on how to use the alerting services available: