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Research Impact Challenge: Challenge 7: Follow that Scholar! Use Alerts to Stay Up-to-date on a Key Scholar's Work

Challenge Description

Challenge Seven
Follow that Scholar!
Use Alerts to Stay Up-to-date on a Key Scholar's Work

We live in an information-saturated world of 24-hour news, mobile technology and globe-spanning social media networks. Staying current on the latest scholarly work in any discipline can be time-consuming, but it's an important part of academic work.  Did you know you could save time by having alerts sent to you whenever a key author in your field publishes an article? Think of the time you can save by not having to re-run your search on a regular basis.

In this Challenge, you'll set up an alert to follow a key author - or competitor - in your field.

This session will be lead by Susan Paterson, Government Publications Librarian.



Research Impact Challenge Bank

The Research Impact Challenges Bank is a set of simple online activities to help you learn and apply concepts about building your online academic profile, connecting with other researchers, keeping informed of research, discoverability and access to resources, and research metrics & analysis.

 Step 1   Select a Challenge

 Step 2   Complete a Challenge

 Step 3   Share Your Response


To complete the Use Alerts to Stay Up-to-date on Authors challenge and other RSS Feeds challenges, go to the Research Challenge Bank.


This Challenge is adapted under a CC-BY 4.0 license from the The 30-Day Impact Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Raising the Profile of Your Research eBook published by and authored by Stacy Konkiel.

The original challenge is Impact Challenge Day 20: Stay up-to-date on your colleague’s work.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The Challenge

In this Challenge, you'll set up an email alert to follow a key author in your field.

Step 1: Create an author alert: Web of Science

For this step, we'll take a look at two resources to help you follow an author's work.

  1. Go to the Library homepage 
  2. Under the Indexes and Databases tab type Web of Science. 
  3. Select Web of Science Core Collection
  4. Click on the blue drop down arrow beside Basic Search. Click on the arrow and select Author Search. Type the name of an author you want to search.

Example: Yan, M.C. (In Web of Science you can only use the initials of the author's first and middle name).  Next choose the scholar's area of research (Research Domain) (i.e. Social Sciences) - next choose their institution affiliation (i.e. University of British Columbia)

Step 2: Create an Author Alert: Google Scholar

  1. Go to Google Scholar and search for your topic.
  2. Click on Create Alert and enter your email address.



The next steps for this challenge is to create 2 Author Alerts 

Using a Subject Research Guide or the Research Impact Challenge Bank  choose a relevant database that applies to your area of research. Creating an alert will vary depending on the database and platform.

There will likely be other databases besides Google Scholar and Web of Science Core Collection to complement your research or that are even more suitable.

Step 3

  1. Find a Research Guide appropriate for your discipline.
  2. Identify a key resource/database recommended by your subject librarian.
  3. Search for an author in the database.
  4. Save your search as an alert.

Many databases are available from large vendors such as EBSCO, Engineering Village, OvidSP and ProQuest. Check the Current Awareness Tools guide for instructions for setting up alerts on these common platforms.