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Information Literacy Graduates: Staying current

Learning outcomes

After studying this section you will know how to keep up-to-date with current research on your topic. 

Alerts to keep up-to-date

Keeping up-to-date or staying current in your field of research is becoming increasingly difficult as the amount of information available grows exponentially and the number of tools available increases.

Alerts notify you by e-mail or RSS feed of new records that are added to a database that match search terms you have specified.

Follow the hints and tips on this page to  keep up-to-date more effectively and efficiently with the most recently published information in your field.

Database alerts

Saved searches: Most databases offered by the University Library allow setting up automatic searches (alerts). This will save valuable time since this will keep you from having to repeat your searches.

The alert automatically searches the database for the latest records matching your saved searches. The database will then send you updated relevant results by e-mail or RSS feed. 

Your saved search may also be a citation (author) search.

Web of Science, Scopus and EBSCO have helpful step-by-step instructions for saving searches and setting up search alerts.

Citation alerts: in Scopus and Web of Science it is possible to set a citation alert. You will be notified each time a particular article is cited by another author.

Table of contents (TOC) alerts

Most academic publishers offer to send tables of contents by e-mail. By selecting the journal(s) you want to monitor, you can get an e-mail with the table of contents of each new issue sent out to you. 

Most providers and publishers have this option: e.g. JStore, EBSCO, ScienceDirect.

You have to register or set up an account for this service.


JournalTOCs is the largest, free collection of scholarly journal Tables of contents: 29.780 journals, including 12.200 selected Open Access journals and 11.326 hybrid journals from 29.19 publishers. JournalTOCs alerts you when new issues of your followed journals are published. 

Browzine: browsing RUG e-journals

BrowZine allows you to follow and read your favourite scholarly journals! It gives an overview of and access to the e- journals available at the RUG.

You can find your journals by title, subject, issn.

Create your own bookshelf : in this way you are notified anytime a new article is added to your favourite journals, allowing you to keep up-to-date with the latest research and to discover new articles along the way.

Websites alerts

In Google use to monitor the web for your subjects or websites.

In Google Scholar you can click the "create alert" link  at the bottom of a results page.

SmartCat: finding new literature in the library

It is not possible to set up a SmartCat alert. However, you can save your searches in SmartCat:

  • Log in to SmartCat.
  • Run your search
  • Click Save this search (top left of the screen).

You can now repeat the search by clicking on Saved searches (top right of the screen) and choosing your previous search.

Conference alerts

Conferences are an important part of staying current with intellectual and academic developments and discussion. There are various websites that will alert you of upcoming conferences.

Papers are sometimes available via conference websites or accessible via databases.

Some links: