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Turku University Library

Keeping up

RSS feeds

RSS logo

RSS logo. Source: Pixabay

Most of the frequently updated websites and news platforms support RSS protocols (Rich Site Summary; Really Simple Syndication). Even though not all of the sites offer the actual coding they can be transformed into RSS feeds with the help of utility services such as WatchThatPage or TrackEngine.

There are also feed readers such as Feedly and NetVibes that you can use to collect all the things you need in one service – news, publications, updated versions, YouTube videos, etc. In Outlook, you can subscribe to receive content from multiple web pages into one folder instead of your email inbox.

Search alerts

Most databases have an option to subscribe to search alerts. Publishers (e.g. EBSCO, Web of Science, or ProQuest) typically use the same interface for all databases they offer. Usually the publishers require you to create an account on the publisher's website in order to subscribe to alerts. Additionally, there are services such as PubCrawler that search for specific search terms simultaneously in multiple databases and regularly send notifications about new publications.

Your information needs determine what alternative suits you best. Sometimes it is enough to just save the search string and manually redo it when needed. Though sometimes it might be more useful to subscribe to a search result on a regular basis, or be notified whenever new items matching your search terms are added to the database.

The titles in the alert emails or RSS feeds are usually links to the references in the databases. Feed subscriptions sent to your email often include a short abstract and keywords for the article, which allows you to quickly see if the article is worth reading in full.

Citation alerts

In some databases you can create a citation alert to get notified every time an article gets cited (in a paper/source that is also indexed or otherwise noted in the database).

It's easy to create a citation alert in Google Scholar:

  1. In Scholar, look for the article you want to get citation alerts from.
  2. On the results page, click on "Cited by xxx" under the article you wanted.
  3. Scroll down the page and click the link "Create alert".
  4. Enter your email into the box to subscribe to the alerts.

Screencap of Google Scholar results page, Cited by 3942 underlined on the last line of first result.

Screencap of bottom of Scholar results page, Create alert underlined.

Screencap of Create alert page, email filled out as an example, Create alert button in red at the bottom.


Other citation alert instructions:

Instructions on how to stay up to date with databases