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Current Awareness Tools

Database Alerts

Staying current on the latest scholarly work in any discipline can be time-consuming. Fortunately, most databases offer an alert feature that informs you about new articles (or other publication types) on a specific topic. These services generally require you to create an account, conduct/save a search and then select either email or RSS as the delivery method.

•   EBSCO   Saving a Search as an Alert (pdf)  |  e.g. Academic Search Complete, PsycINFO
•   Engineering Village  Saving a Search as an Alert (pdf) Compendex, Geobase and GeoRef
•   Google Scholar   Click "Create alert" to set up email alert
•   JSTOR   Saving a Search as an Alert (pdf)
•   Ovid SP   Saving a Search as an Alert (pdf)  |  e.g. MEDLINE and EMBASE
•   ProQuest   Saving a Search as an Alert (pdf)  |  e.g. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses and CBCA Complete
•   PubMed   Saving a Search as an Alert (pdf)
•   Scifinder Scholar Web Click "Create Keep Me Posted" to set up email alert
•   Web of Science   Saving a Search as an Alert (pdf)  Web of Science Core Collection, FSTA and Zoological Record

Journal Alerts

You can also register for alerts directly from journals. This allows you to receive a table of contents for the newest issues of your preferred titles. Most of these services will require you to create an account with the publisher's website.


Major Journal Publishers

•   American Chemical Society •   Palgrave MacMillan
•   Annual Reviews •   PLoS(Public Library of Science)
•   BioMedCentral - Open Access Publisher •   PNAS
•   Cambridge University Press •   ProjectMUSE
•   Highwire Press - eTOCs/Citetrack •   ScienceDirect
•   Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins •   Springer Alerts
•   Nature Alerts •   Taylor & Francis
•   Oxford Journals •   Wiley

Journal Alerting Services

•   AMEDEO - Medical Literature Guide – free listing with weekly updates and links to PubMed
•   BMJ EvidenceUpdates - evidence-based alerting tool (McMaster Plus)
•   MedBioWorld - 25,000 links to bio-science journals

Journal Aggregators

•   Browzine - a licensed resource that allows users to aggregate UBC Library journal content in one easy-to-access location for viewing on iPhones, iPads and Android tablets; more info below

•   Read by QxMD provides a simple interface that drives discovery and seamless access to the medical literature by reformatting it into a personalized digital medical journal.

Citation Alerts

Did you publish an article? Would you like to know who is citing it? Citation alerts allow you to track a specific article.

Creating a Citation Alert

  • Google Scholar - offers citation tracking as saved searches; provides most comprehensive results for arts & humanities and social sciences.
  • Web of Science Core Collection - database of more than 10,000 journals in arts & humanities, social sciences and sciences.
  • ScienceDirect - more than 1700 journals published by Elsevier.