Alerts are a great way to stay current with your research interests. The best thing is that alerts require very little time to set up. Just the initial investment of time on your part and then you are set and ready to go. You are able to receive the latest information on your research interests. Alerting services are available through several of the databases that the libraries subscribe to as well as on publishers' pages. Alerts can be received by email or RSS.
Researchers, both faculty and student, often have favorite journals that are used in their research. There are also journals that are top tier periodicals within a researcher's area of interest and when new issues are published, they would wished to be notified. Journal alerts can be set up in several ways to accomplish this goal. Both email and RSS feeds allow researchers to receive Table of Contents information for newly published journal issues at predetermined times.
Many databases offer journal alerting services after researchers have registered for an account within the database. Certain publishers also offer alerting services from the webpage for their journals.
Search alerts allow researcher to receive articles that cover their research interests. Once a search is executed within a database and is found to yield the desired results, it can be saved and rerun periodically to catch any new articles that have been published. As these new articles become available, researchers can be alerted to their publication.
Alerts of this type allow researchers to receive the results of saved searches which are pre-programmed to be run either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly for a specific time span. Many databases require users to create/register for an account in order to save and run searches and schedule alerts.
Citation alerts allow researchers to see when someone cites a particular article or a particular author. This type of alert utilizes databases, such as Web of Knowledge, that have a citation search function. Once a reseacher has registered, they can search for an article or an author, then save this as a citation alert.