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Biology & Biomedical Sciences: Keep Up-To-Date

Keep up-to-date

Your research area is constantly changing with the addition of new knowledge and research methodology.  Keep up to date with the latest literature and research information, avoid important omissions and observe potential collaborators and competitors.  Most databases also have save search functions to rerun a search and view the search history.  You can do this by using a range of current awareness services.  View our Research Bites 2013 entitled Let the research come to you: keep up-to-date in your field of research for a full overview

Find out when relevant articles are first published

A search alert is an alert which will notify you by e-mail or by RSS feed when a new journal article fitting your search criteria is published. 

You can set up a search alert in many databases, but those listed below are the most comprehensive and therefore most useful.  To get the best out of a search alert, you will need a robust set of search criteria - if you need help putting this together, contact your Information Specialist.

Find out when an article is cited

A citation alert is an alert which will notify you by e-mail or by RSS feed when a new journal article citing a specified journal article is published.  This can be used to find out who is reading and citing your published research, or to track a key paper in your field.

You can set up a citation alert in the citation databases listed below.  Avoid using other databases to set up citation alerts as your results will not be comprehensive.

How to set up alerts

JournalTOCS is a free collection of scholarly journal tables of contents, which will tell you when a new issue of your favourite journal is available. It currently includes over 20,000 journals, including over 4,500 Open Access journals, from over 1200 publishers (such as Elsevier, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Wiley, OUP, CUP, and more).

Within the Proquest databases you can set up a search alert and a publication alert

You can watch the 30-second 'Get help with Scopus' video and find out about a range of features, including how to access other tutorials, such as the 'Creating alerts and using Scopus Settings' tutorial.

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When you create a citation alert, Thomson Reuters notifies you by e-mail whenever the document has been cited by a new article. The alert is active for one year. You may renew the alert at any time. They will send you an e-mail approximately two weeks before the alert expires to remind you to renew the alert.  To create an alert, you must be a registered user and you must sign in to Web of Science.

ZETOC gives you access to over 28,000 journals, >50 million article citations and conference papers through the British Library’s electronic table of contents.

Use ZETOC to set-up personalised email alerts or RSS feeds to track your favourite journal or to discover the latest articles in your research area.

ZETOC ALERT - receive email alerts when new articles or Tables of Contents are added

ZETOC RSS - subscribe to feeds for Tables of Contents from individual journals

Find out about ZETOC ALERTS at http://zetoc.mimas.ac.uk/alertguide.html

Watch ZETOC's training videos at http://zetoc.mimas.ac.uk/videos.html

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Table of contents (TOCs) alerts

A table of contents (TOCs) alert is an alert which will notify you by e-mail or by RSS feed of the articles included in each new issue of a particular journal title. 

You can usually set up a TOCs alert through the publisher's home page for a journal, or use the aggregators listed below.

Not sure if social media is for you?

Social media and professional networks

Use social media and online professional networks to help you to make contacts in your chosen area of interest. 

Some examples of these tools and networks are: