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Organizing Research & Citations

How to keep your research and citations organized with citation management and database tools.

Database Alerts & RSS Feeds

Many Library databases provide the ability to create alerts for content related to your research topic. Depending on the database's service, an alert can provide the table of contents to new issues of journals or a list of new articles based on search terms. Some databases even offer citation alerts, to inform you when a particular article has been cited. Setting up database alerts is a great way to find articles related to those which you have already included in your research. Additionally, it will help you to stay up to date with the latest research and trends in your discipline.

When you set up a search alert, the database automatically runs your search and sends you any search results added since the last time the search was run. You can set searches to run once a day, once a week, or less often.

Most alerts are provided by e-mail or RSS feed. Therefore, you will need to create individual database accounts in order to set up alerts, and in some cases have an RSS Reader account. 

Instructions for Library Database Alerts


You may either set up a journal alert to be notified when new issues of a particular journal are published, or you may set up a search alert from a search screen. See the links below to learn more about how to set up these types of alerts.

ACM Digital Library 

The table of contents alert service sends an email alert when a new issue of an ACM journal, magazine, newsletter or proceedings has been posted in ACM. To create alerts, you must have an ACM Web Account.

  1. To create a Web Account click on the SIGN UP link which can be found on the upper right hand corner of any page within the Digital Library.
  2. After creating an account and signing in to the ACM Digital Library, use the Browse ACM Publications menu on the home page to select journals/ transactions, magazines, and proceedings.
  3. On the home page for any particular publication, look for the Tools and Resources box on the right side of the screen. You'll see two options for TOC Services: email and RSS, as shown below. 
  4. If you want email alerts when new issues are published, choose that option and confirm your email address. If you want to subscribe to the equivalent RSS feed, choose that option and copy the URL for inclusion in your feed reader software.

ACM Digital Library screenshot with the TOC tool highlighted.

Annual Reviews

You must register with Annual Reviews to subscribe to e-mail or RSS feed alerts for Table of Contents, Topics, or Journals, or save searches.

Once registered, log into your account and view the options as shown below: 

Annual Reviews screenshot with the Personal Account menu highlighted.


  1. On your Profile page, click the link for Alerts, on the left hand side of the screen. 
  2. Click the checkbox next the journals for which you wish to receive table of contents alerts.
  3. Press Submit.
  4. Click on the Email Preferences tab to select Plain Text or HTML as your preferred format.

Save Searches (Follow Results)

After you perform a keyword or phrase search, look for the option to Follow Results to the top right of your results, as shown below: 

Annual Reviews search results screen with the "Follow results" link highlighted.

Ebook Central
You can set up alerts when new Ebook Central titles match your search criteria. Follow the instructions below to create Ebook Central search alerts:

  1. Search for e-books using the Simple or Advanced Search.
  2. Click on the Save this search, as shown below.
    Ebook Central search results screen with the "Save this search" link highlighted.
  3. Name the search and select Notify me of new results. Enter your email address, and choose a frequency.

    Ebook Central Save Search screen.
  4. Click Save.


Films on Demand

This database offers monthly email notifications about new titles in certain subject areas.

1. First, create an account by clicking on Create Account in the upper right. During the account creation, you will be prompted to select the subjects that interest you.

2. Make sure to check off "I would like to receive emails about new titles added within these subject areas" and click Save Changes, as shown below.

Films on Demand account creation screen.

If you already have an account, simply visit the My Films link on the blue menu bar. You will then receive an email at the beginning of each month with a link that lists all titles added within your selected subject areas in the past 30 days. You can modify your selected subjects or opt out at any time.


Gale Academic OneFile

  1. Perform a search for the information for which you want to receive alerts.
  2. On the results list, at the very bottom right side, click the Create a Search Alert link, as shown below.

Gale Academic OneFile screenshot showing the "Create Search Alert" link.

  1. To receive alert emails, enter your email address.
  2. Select the Frequency in which you want the system to check for new content based on your search criteria.
  3. Click the Submit button to submit your request.

Films on Demand Create Search Alert screen.

You will be sent an email message to confirm that your request has been received. Then the system will check for new content based on the frequency you selected. The alert email will contain individual links up to the first 20 new content items plus a link to the full results set. All emails you receive will contain a link allowing you to opt out of the alert so that you no longer receive future alerts.

Gale RSS Feed Alert:

  1. Perform a search for the information for which you want to receive alerts.
  2. On the results list, click the Create a Search Alert link, as shown above.
  3. To subscribe to the RSS feed, copy the Feed URL and paste it into the software you use as your RSS reader or news aggregator.
  4. Click Close when you have finished.

Gale Journal Alert:

  1. Click on the Publication Search tab at the top of the screen.
  2. Enter the journal name or keywords, or click on the link All Publication Titles to browse. Find the journal for which you want to create an alert, and click on the link.
  3. From the journal’s publication screen, click on Create a Journal Alert, as shown below. If you want to receive alerts in email, in the Email Options section, provide your email, choose frequency and click on Save. If you want to receive alerts in RSS feeds, click on the XML button in the RSS Feed section.

Homeland Security Digital Library

  • Critical Releases - You are automatically signed up for this Alert at the time you are granted access to the HSDL. However, if you do not get them for some reason, you can sign up at Critical Releases online by clicking the subscribe to Critical Releases link in the right column of the page.
  • Search-based Alerts - Simply search the HSDL as you normally would. When you have a result set you like, click the set email alert for these terms link at the top of the result list, as shown below.
    Then click the confirm link on the next page. HSDL will send you the title of the new document, a short summary, and links to both our abstract and the full document. We do not send the actual documents as attachments; just a link to the one in our collection.

Note: To access these services, users must create an individual account first. See the link below for detailed instructions on creating your account. 


Create search alerts, table of content alerts, and topic alerts to keep current on new content in your research area.  Creating alerts requires that you create a personal account. You will be prompted to create an account after attempting to create an alert for the first time.

You can start out by searching LearnTechLib using keywords related to your research. On the results screen, click on the link for Search Alert, as shown below.

LearnTechLib screenshot showing the Search Alert link.

Mergent Online

Follow the instructions below to create company or executive alerts.

  1. Click on either the Company or Executive Alert links located under the My Mergent Tools menu on the database’s homepage (as shown below), and enter your email address when prompted.
  2. This will open your My Mergent Tools: Current Alerts List page. Here you may customize the companies and executives for which you receive alerts, the preferences for your alerts, as well as see a summary of the saved lists and report templates for your Company Analysis and Executives Lists.
  3. Alert preferences shows you the e-mail addresses you have entered for saved lists and previously set alerts.
  4. Click Edit beside an individual e-mail to change or edit the set e-mail. Click the X beside an e-mail to delete it from the list.
  5. Click Save to save your changes.
  6. If you would like to search for another company by name to add an alert for, but do not want to return to the search pages, simply type the company’s name or ticker symbol into the text box at the top of the page.
  7. A window will automatically display as you type to show you the matches available for the letters or names you type.
  8. Click on a specific company to go directly to that company’s alert list preference page where you can set alert items as detailed above.

Mergent Online screenshot showing the Company Alerts and Executive Alerts links under My Mergent Tools.



Saved searches are delivered automatically whenever new articles that match your specific search criteria are available. If you add annotations to your search history, they are saved too.

Once you access Ovid, choose the database you want and create a search to be used as an AutoAlert. Next, click the Save All button, selecting the lines that you wish to include in your search strategy.

Ovid Search History screenshot showing the save search feature.

At this point, you are prompted to login to your Personal Account. You will need to create one if you don't already have one. See instructions here. After completing the Personal User Account setup, you'll see the following page. Name your search and customize your Alert by selecting scheduling options, delivery options, email address and subject, email options and report type.

Under report type, the third choice, Email includes records only, is what a typical AutoAlert contains (just the records). However, the additional choices include sending you a link to your search history in Ovid, along with your records. The second choice Email includes records, a Results Display Link, and a link to each record's Full text or Complete Reference Display is the choice that gives you everything.

Screenshot of the Ovid alerts page.

Once you have entered the information to create your AutoAlert, Ovid returns to the main search page. If you click on the View Saved button, you can view the AutoAlert that you just created.

Ovid screenshot withe the "View Saved" link highlighted.

Click on the box next to the name of the AutoAlert to select it and you can then run (or delete, copy, rename, display, edit, or email a jumpstart for) it.

Ovid AutoAlert screen with an arrow pointing to the Run button.

If you run the AutoAlert, you immediately receive an email with the results. Check it to ensure that the AutoAlert format meets your needs.

When you create a new AutoAlert, you receive your first results the next time the database is updated, and with every subsequent database update.

If you have any questions or problems please contact Technical Support  by emailing

eTOC Alert

You can also setup eTOC alerts in Ovid. Electronic Tables of Contents (eTOC) track changes in a specific journal’s table of contents.

  1. Log in to Ovid
  2. From the database menu select the My WorkSpace link at the top.
  3. Choose My eTOCS below the blue banner.
  4. This will take you a place where you enter the email address in question.
  5. A box will come up showing available journal etoc alerts.
  6. Select the desired journal and click the up arrow to add the journal title from the list.
  7. Don't forget to click the "Update" button, at the bottom of the screen, to implement the change.
You can also set up an eTOC by clicking the eTOC Image button found in the journals table of contents display or by going directly to
If you have any questions or problems please contact Technical Support  by emailing

You may create and schedule alerts to deliver new documents matching your search as they become available in ProQuest. Note: Content from the ebrary e-books database will not be included in alert emails or RSS delivery at this time. 

You will need to create a ProQuest My Research account to modify, delete, or view all of your alerts. Detailed instructions for each type of ProQuest alert appear below.


After you run a search, you can save it to your My Research account. Your saved searches are listed on the Searches tab in My Research. Your searches are listed in descending order, meaning your most recent saved search is at the top and your oldest saved search at the bottom.

To save a search to My Research:

  1. Click the Save search link above your results list, or on the Actions menu corresponding to the search on the Recent Searches page.
  2. Save the search to your My Research account.
    You’re prompted to sign into your account if necessary.
  3. Provide a required name for the search. Enter optional notes.
  4. Click Save.

ProQuest screenshot with the "Save search/alert" link lighlighted

ProQuest Publication alerts

Provides a way for you to find specific publications, such as newspapers or magazines, and browse individual issues. When you browse or search for a publication, and it’s available, you can click the publication title to display a page that provides details about that publication.

Click the Create alert link to define your publication alert details. After responding to an email from ProQuest to confirm the email address you provided, your alert is activated.

For more information on creating and managing your My Research account saved searches and alerts, see the link below.

Register for a personal account in order to setup Publication Alerts, Topic Alerts, and Content Alerts. Click Sign In at the top of the screen and then click Register Now. After logging in, follow the below instructions for setting up alerts.

PsychiatryOnline Publication Alerts

Publication alerts will notify you when the current journal issue is available.

  1. Click on the My POL tab to access My Alerts, as shown below. This tab is also where you can modify any existing Topic or Contents alerts.
  2. Click Edit Publication Alerts.
  3. Select the publications for which you would like alerts, and click on Save Changes.

PsychiatryOnline screenshot showing the My Alerts tab.

PsychiatryOnline Topic Alerts 

Topic alerts will notify you when any resources related to that topic are added to PsychiatryOnline. This may include journal articles, news, best practices, and books.

  1. Click on the Topics tab near the top of the screen.
  2. Browse to find the topic you are interested in.
  3. Click on Get Alert, as shown below.
  4. Check your email and click the button to Confirm.

PsychiatryOnline screenshot with the Get Alert link highlighted.

PubMed allows you to subscribe to the PubMed New and Noteworthy RSS feed. To do so, click on the link as shown below.

PubMed screenshot with the "New and Noteworthy" link highlighted.

Save Searches

Finally, you may save, automate your searches and have the results E-mailed to you through a free MyNCBI account. Follow the instructions below for saving searches and setting up email alerts.

  1. Click on Sign in to NCBI at the top right of the screen.
  2. Sign In to use an existing account or click on Register for an account to establish a new account.
  3. Perform the search to be saved or updated regularly in the database of interest.
  4. Click the Save Search search link that appears near the top of the search results page.
  5. In MyNCBI save the search and choose the settings for automated E-mail updates. These settings can be modified at any time by accessing the MyNCBI account.


SAGE Journals

You must create an individual account in order to setup SAGE alerts, save searches and save journals. Once you have signed in, click on the My Tools tab and then Add/edit/delete email alerts, as shown below.

SAGE Journals screenshot with the My Tools link highlighted.

The following types of Email Alerts are available for most SAGE journals:

  • TOC: Full Table of Contents alerts will send you a listing of all articles within an issue, with links to the abstracts.
  • TOC Awareness: Table of Contents Awareness Alerts will send you a link to the complete TOC online (will not include a list of articles within the alert itself).
  • Announcements: Announcement Alerts will keep you up to date with special journal news or related events.
  • OnlineFirst: OnlineFirst Alerts notify you of new articles published ahead of print. You will receive alerts as each OnlineFirst article is posted online.


SAGE Knowledge/Navigator/Research Methods & Videos

Save searches and create lists that contain SAGE Knowledge, Navigator, Research Methods & Video content. You will first need to login to your Profile account and/or sign up for a new account to save searches and create lists. 

Save Content and Create Lists

Once logged in, browse or search for content. Click the icon as shown below to save the item to a list that you create. If you do not yet have any lists, you will be promoted to create one before you can save your content item. 

SAGE Knowledge screenshot with the Save icon highlighted.

Save Searches

To save your searches, simply conduct a search using the basic or advanced search boxes, then on the search results page, click the floppy disc icon as shown in the image below: 

SAGE Research Methods screenshot with the Save icon highlighted.

NOTE: creating this Profile account  is valid for SAGE Knowledge, Navigator, Research Methods and Videos. You will need to create a different account for SAGE Journals. 


You must create an individual account in order setup ScienceDirect alerts. To do so, click the link to Sign In at the top of the screen, and then click Not Registered? to create your account. Once you have signed in, click the plus sign (+) next to your name and then Manage my alerts, as shown below.

ScienceDirect screenshot with the "Manage my alerts" link highlighted.

A description of the various types of ScienceDirect alerts also appears below.


  • Search alerts notify you by email when new documents matching your search criteria become available online. 
  • Topic alerts are predefined searches on a specific topic, such as inorganic chemistry. Topic alerts notify you by email when new documents on a particular topic are available. 
  • Journal and book-series alerts notify you by email when a new issue of a particular journal or a new book volume becomes available. 

For further information on ScienceDirect alerts, including a tutorial video, please see links below.


SpringerLink allows you subscribe to search results via RSS feed. To do so, simply click on the RSS icon on the search results screen, as shown below.

SpringerLink search results screen with the RSS icon highlighted.

TOC Alerts

You may also set up Table of Contents alerts for specific Springer journals. To do so, locate the journal that you are interested in and then click on the links to Stay up to Date, as shown below. 

SpringerLinker link screenshot showing the "Stay up to Date" feature.

Select Register for journal updates and on the next page look for the box that allows you to enter your email address: 

SpringerLink "Alerts For This Journal" screenshot.


You may subscribe to the Statista RSS to say up-to-date on new content added. Look for the RSS icon at the bottom of any Statista page, as shown below.

Statista screenshot with the RSS icon highlighted.

Taylor & Francis Online 

You must create an individual account in order to setup Taylor & Francis journal alerts. To do so, click the Register link at the top of the screen. Fill out the information requested. A confirmation email will be sent to the address you have provided. You must respond to the confirmation email to activate your account.

New Content (TOC) Alerts

  1. Once you have created an account and signed in, click on the Browse tab at the top of the page.
  2. Select a journal of interest to you by clicking on the title.
  3. Click on New content alerts in the center of the journal home page as shown below.
  4. Select the type of TOC alert you require from the drop down menu (either email alert or RSS feed).
  5. If requesting an RSS alert, depending on the RSS reader you are using, you will then need to click Subscribe to this feed or paste the URL into the field in your reader and submit your request for a new feed.
  6. You will start to receive Table of Contents (TOC) alerts, which notifies you of each new issue of a publication of your choice.

Taylor & Francis screenshot with the "New content alerts" and RSS buttons highlighted.

Citation Alerts

  1. Search for content in Taylor & Francis and select an article of interest.
  2. On the article page, click Citations as shown below.
  3. Subscribe to citation updates.
  4. You will start to receive Citation alerts, which notifies you when that particular article has been cited.

Taylor & Francis screenshot showing the "Subscribe to citation updates" button.



You must create an individual account in order setup Ulrichsweb alerts. To do so, click Log in to My Ulrich's at the top of the screen. Next, click Create a New Account. Fill out the information requested.

Once you have logged in, click on the Workspace link in order to setup your alerts. Then, click on the Alerts tab, as shown below. Once there, click on Create Alert on the right hand side of the screen. You may setup alerts to be notified when journals in your subject area have ceased publication or have changed titles, or when new publications have been added.

Ulrichsweb screenshot showing the Alerts tab.

Web of Knowledge / Web of Science

You must create a personal account in order to create alerts for Web of Knowledge. To register, click Sign In in the upper right hand corner of the screen, and then select Register. Fill out the information requested to create your account. Once you have logged into your account, you will be able to set Citation Alerts and Saved Searches.

Citation Alerts

This feature allows you to receive an e-mail alert when articles you select are cited. Alternately, you can use this feature to keep a list of your favorite articles. To add an article to this list (and receive an e-mail each time it is cited), follow the instructions below.

  1. Search for your research topic in Web of Knowledge.
  2. Click on the article of interest.
  3. When viewing a Full Record, click Create Citation Alert, as shown below. Note: not all Full Records in all products will have this button. If you do not see the Create Citation Alert button, then the record does not contain sufficient information for the alerting system to connect it to references cited by other articles.
  4. Now, you will automatically receive an e-mail alert every time the article is cited in a journal indexed in the Web of Science database.
  5. If you need to change your alert settings, click on My Tools at the top of the page and select Saved Searches & Alerts.

Web of Knowledge screenshot showing the "Create Citation Alert" link.

Saved Searches

This feature allows you to receive email alerts or RSS feeds of the latest documents which result from running your search query. You may create as many alerts as you need. Follow the instructions below for creating alerts for Saved Searches.

  1. Search for your research topic in Web of Knowledge.
  2. Click on Search History near the top right.
  3. If you have created several searches, the auto-alert will only be run against your most recently created search (the one on the top of the Search History). So you may need to re-type an earlier search to force it to the top.
  4. Click on Save History, as shown below. If you haven't already logged in, you'll be prompted to do so at this time.
  5. Give your search a name, a description, and click Save.
  6. Now, periodically, you will receive an email with the new results of your search, with embedded links back into the database you searched.
  7. If you need to change your alert settings, click on Open Saved History.

Web of Knowledge Search History screen showing the Save History link.


Wiley Online Library

You must create a personal account in order to create alerts for Wiley Online To register, click Log in/Register in the upper right hand corner of the screen, and then select Register. Fill out the information requested and click Submit registration. Once you have logged into your account, you will be able to set email alerts for new content and saved searches. To manage existing Wiley alerts, click on My Profile at the top of the screen, and then select Alert Manager. To set alerts follow the instructions below.

Content Alerts 

You can sign up to receive an e-mail alert containing the table of contents for any Wiley Online Library journals. Simply find publications of interest using Publications or Browse by Subject and choose Get New Content Alert from the Journal Tools menu, as shown below. For journals publishing Accepted and Early View articles, these will be included in your e-mail alerts.

Wiley Online Library screenshot with the "Ge New Content Alerts" link highlighted.

Search Alerts 

You can be notified by e-mail when new papers are published that match your search criteria. Simply conduct a search and choose Save Search on the Search Results page, as shown below.

Wiley Online Library search results screen with the Save search link highlighted.

Instructions for Online Resources

Google Scholar

Search Alerts

You do not need a Google Account in order to create search alerts and citation alerts. You can enter any email address of your choice. If the email address isn't a Google account or doesn't match your Google account, then Google will email you a verification link, which you'll need to click in order to start receiving alerts. 

To create a search alert, search for the topic of interest, and click the envelope icon in the sidebar of the search results page, as shown below. Enter your email address, and click Create alert. Google Scholar will then periodically email you newly published papers that match your search criteria. There's a link to cancel the alert at the bottom of every notification email.

Google Scholar search results screen with the Create alert link highlighted.

Citation Alerts

To create a Google Scholar citation alert, search for the title of your article and then click on the Cited by link, as shown below. Next, click on the envelope icon in the left sidebar of the search results page. Enter your email address, and click Create alert.

Google Scholar search results screen with the "Cited by" link highlighted.


You can get emails when new results for a topic show up in Google Search. For example, you can set alerts for your topic keywords or for researcher names.

Create an Alert

  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 we find matching search results.

Edit an Alert

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. Next to an alert, click Edit Edit.
  3. If you don’t see any options, click Show options.
  4. Make your changes.
  5. Click Update Alert.
  6. To change how you get alerts, click Settings Settings and then check the options you want and click Save.

Delete an Alert

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. Next to the alert you want to remove, click Delete Delete.
  3. Optional: You can also delete an alert by clicking Unsubscribe at the bottom of an alert email.

Feedly is an RSS feed reader and news aggregator that allows you to organize, read, and share content from your favorite sites. To create a Feedly account go to and click the GET STARTED FOR FREE button. You can sign up for Feedly with an existing Facebook or Google account. Alternatively, you can continue with Feedly and register a new account.

For more information on RSS please see our FAQ:
RSS: What is RSS? How do I subscribe to RSS feeds?

For more information on Feedly and RSS please see our quick tutorial:

RSS Tutorial - A short video describing what RSS is and how to use it.​

Talkwalker Alerts is a free an easy alternative to Google Alerts. Monitor the Web for interesting new content about your name, brand, competitors, events or any favorite topic. Talkwalker Alerts makes social media monitoring easy and brings every single mention of your brand across the internet - from websites, blogs, forums and even Twitter to your inbox in one email.

Use Boolean operators to narrow down on the results that matter the most to you. Customize your alerts so you receive only the most relevant ones. 

How can I set up an alert?

Setting up Talkwalker Alerts takes a few seconds. All you need to do is follow the steps below:

  1. Go to
  2. Pick a topic to set up an alert and enter it into our alerts search bar.
  3. Enter the email address where you would like to receive your alerts. You’ll receive Talkwalker Alerts at any email address you wish to use.
  4. Choose where you would like  to receive alerts from: News, Twitter, Blogs or Discussion forums.
  5. Choose the language of your results. They offer results in 22 different languages.
  6. Select how often you would like to receive alerts in your inbox. Select “As it happens” to keep an eye on Twitter in near real-time.
  7. Select whether you’d like to receive all mentions of your favorite topic on the internet or only the ones with the most engagement.
  8. Use our preview feature to check that everything is set up as you would like.
  9. Hit the “Create Alert” button.
  10. Check your email to verify your email address and Talkwalker Alerts will start sending you alerts straight to your inbox.

In order to set up an RSS feed, you have to log in to your alerts account by clicking on Talkwalker Alerts, and then click on the “Manage” tab. Next, you simply have to click on the RSS icon next to the alert for which you would like to create an RSS feed and copy the XML file. Then add it to your feed reader, such as Feedly.

If you’d like to set up an RSS feed for all of your alerts, you can click on the master RSS icon above all of the alerts and then paste it as a new source in your feed reader.

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