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ME 494 - Project Design II

Alerts for researchers

Alerts are automatic updates of new information added to journal databases and websites. They are available from databases, publisher's websites, and via social media. By subscribing to alerts you can:

  • Keep up with the latest research in your field
  • Identify new areas of potential research
  • Learn about forthcoming conferences
  • Save time and effort

Alerts are delivered to subscribers via email and/or RSS feeds

There are three types of database alerts:

  • Search alerts
    • Notifications of new results from saved database searches
  • Journal alerts
    • Also called Journal Table of Contents (TOC) alerts
    • Notification of the publication of new issues in specific journals
  • Citation alerts
    • Document citation - notification of newly added documents that cite a specific article.
    • Author citation - notification when any paper published by an author is cited in another document.

Consult the help pages of individual databases to find out what type of alerts are available and how to subscribe.

Search alerts

What are Saved Search Alerts?

Search alerts are automated database searches that periodically run saved search parameters and send an email notification when new results are found. Search alerts are a feature of many of the Library's research databases. Many associations, organizations, and publishers also offer search alerts.

You can get emails when new results for a topic show up in Google Search. For example, you can get info about news, products, or mentions of your name.

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. In the box at the top, enter a topic you want to follow.
  3. To change your settings, click Show options. You can change:
    • How often you get notifications
    • The types of sites you’ll see
    • Your language
    • The part of the world you want info from
    • How many results you want to see
    • What accounts get the alert
  4. Click Create Alert. You’ll get emails whenever matching search results are found.

Google Scholar provides email alerts for new content added to their index.

  1. For a simple alert, just run a Google Scholar search, click the search button, and get your results.
  2. Click the Envelope icon (top left side of the page). Here, you can make changes, if needed.
  3. Click Create Alert.
  4. You're then taken to your page of Google Scholar Alert page. 
  5. Alerts appear to work with all three content options:
    1. Traditional
    2. Google Scholar content (with patents or without patents)
    3. Legal documents and journals

engineering village


Engineering Village allows you to create up to 125 weekly Email Alerts from the Search History. A Personal Account is required to set up email alerts.

From the top of any Engineering Village page, click Search History. Select the box next to the search you wish to set up as an alert. If you are not already logged into your Personal Account, you will be prompted to do so. If you are not registered for a Personal Account, you will be asked if you want to register now. 

You can also set up Email Alerts from the Saved Searches page if you are logged into your Personal Account.

Email alerts can also be setup by clicking the Create email link near each search statement in Easy, Quick, Expert or Thesaurus Search.

Up to 25 records are sent within an email alert. If more records were retrieved from the weekly update, a hyperlink appears in the body of the email alert linking you to Engineering Village. The full update retrieval set will appear when you click on the link. You can also link from email alerts to individual records by clicking an Abstract or Detailed Record hyperlink. searches over 60 databases and over 2200 selected websites from 15 federal agencies, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information including research and development results. Click on "Alerts" at the top of the page, register. Do a search and click on "Create new alert from this search.

Journal alerts

What are Table of Contents Alerts?

Automatic notifications when a new issue of a specific journal is published. Many journal and other academic publishers provide alerting services for their publications. Most publishers provide this service for free, though registration is typically required. As is often the case, you can receive alerts to publications to which you do not have a subscription, but you may not be able to read the full text.

JournalTOCs provides access to the Tables Of Contents (TOCs) of the current issues of over 30,000 journals that produce TOC RSS feeds.  An individual who registers for the free option of this service can

  • follow and receive email alerts for 15 journals.
  • searches will retrieve up to 25 articles

Users can search for journals by title or ISSN, or keywords in journal article titles. Journals TOCs can be browsed by publisher or subject. 

To follow a journal, from the search and browse results, click on the box next to the journal title.   Click Search to return to the main page and see a list of the journals you are following

Citation alerts

What are Citation Alerts?

Citation alerts let you know when a specific publication or author is cited by a new article. 

To be alerted to new cites of a specific paper

  1. Find the paper(s) you want an alert for in the Google Scholar database.
  2. Included next to each result on a results page is the text cited by xx. Click that text. Now, simply click the envelope at the top of the page, decide on how many results you want (10 or 20) and your alert should be created.

To be alerted to new cites of a specific author

  1. First, do a search for the name, and see if they have a Citations profile. If they do, click on it, and click the "Follow new articles" link in the right sidebar under the search box.
  2. If they don't have a profile, do a search by author, e.g., [author:s-hawking], and click on the  envelope in the left sidebar of the search results page. If you find that several different people share the same name, you may need to add co-author names or topical keywords to limit results to the author you wish to follow.
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