Skip to Main Content

Alert Services: A How-To Guide

Covers basic techniques for setting up alerts (a.k.a. current awareness services) - including table of contents and saved searches via email, RSS feed, blogs, twitter, and Facebook.

Google Scholar Alerts

Google Scholar offers several different types of alerts: topic, author, and citation.

After you run a search and have results on the screen, look in the left sidebar for "create alert." Simply type in your email address and choose the maximum number of results you want to see in your alert and SAVE the alert.

To create a citation alert for a specific article, click on the number of times it has been cited and THEN click on "create alert."

You do not have to supply a gmail address - any valid email address will work.

Database Alerts

Database alerts can cover thousands of journals while publisher alerts are usually limited to a significantly fewer number of journals. The drawback is that databases are slower to update than publisher websites. Publisher websites are the first place information is made available. This information is then sent to database vendors; however, some databases are only updated monthly or quarterly. Also, publishers often provide information on research articles while they are still "in press" but databases do not usually include content until after it is officially published. Database alerts usually work best for subject alerts or citation alerts. If you want a table of contents alert for a journal - publisher alerts would be more timely.

The following databases offer alerts via email and/or RSS Feed.Whenever possible, the link below leads to a page of information on how to set up alerts.

NOTE: These databases require you to be a member of the ISU community in order to access the database.

Your Librarian

Profile Photo
Lorrie Pellack
Head, Research & Instruction Services Dept.
150c Parks Library
Ames, IA 50011-2140
Phone: 515-294-5569