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Research Guides

Keeping Current with Research: Home

About This Guide

Keeping current with the latest in your field of research can be a challenge.This guide outlines strategies and tools to help you keep up-to-date on your topic using Email Alerts, RSS Feeds, and Social Networking. 

Email Alerts

Email alerts are one way to stay-to-date with current research relevant to your topic. Most online journals give you the option to have newly added content sent to you via email. You are notified when new articles have been added to a database that match your search terms. Email alerts are sent periodically (on a schedule you can specify), or whenever there is new content available.

  • Journal Article Alerts. Databases provide email alerts for citations and links to new articles that meet criteria that you specify, including articles written by a specific author; citations of an existing article; or articles related to specific keywords or scientific criteria such as compounds, structures, or reaction. Databases have different procedures for setting up search alerts,but the principles are same. First, create an account within the databases. Alerts are usually set up from the database's Search History or equivalent.
  • Journal Table of Contents Alerts provides the table of contents (TOC) from newly published issues of specific journals, including links to the articles. You can set up TOC alerts from individual journals subscribed to by the UI Library. Go to the UI Library website's "Journals" page and access your favorite journal. On the  journal's website, look for a link or button for "Alerts"; if one is not available, look under headings such as "My Profile", "My Account" or "My Settings." Set up varies from publisher to publisher.
  • New Book Alerts. Search for your topic in the UI Library catalog, then save your search your search ("Save Query"). This activates an email alert on the keywords and sends updates at scheduled intervals.
  • Grant Alerts. Search for grant funding opportunities in Pivot (the University of Idaho's grant database), then create an email alert based on a your search by clicking on "Save your query." Enter a descriptive title for your search, then Save.

RSS Feeds

Using  RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a good way of getting updated web content or 'feed' from websites (such as blogs, news sites, university group sites or professional organizations) that you've selected.

RSS feeds are used to "push" timely information and updates to people who subscribe to RSS "feeds". RSS feeds are convenient because all of your website updates come to one portal. You don't have to visit each website in order to view its content. 

RSS feeds are more flexible than emails but require "feed reader" software that aggregates content from all of the RSS feeds you subscribe to. Most feed reader also have mobile apps.

  This symbol indicates that a feed is available. Typically, if you want to add the feed into your browser, when you are viewing a webpage click on the feed icon to display the feed and then click on the "subscribe to this feed" link. The browser will then ask where you want the feed placed, such as your RSS feed reader.

There are numerous RSS feed readers available. Our suggestions include:

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Social Networks & Research Communities

Use social networking sites such as Twitter to keep up with the latest research or to share information or your own research. You can follow and exchange ideas with key researchers or practitioners in your field. Use the Advanced Search to locate specific words, people, places and dates. 

Engaging with online research communities is another helpful way to find the latest information in your area of research. A few examples are:

Mendeley, Zotero, and EndNote are citation management tools that  organize the citations you collect in your research,  as well  share your own citations with your peers. For help getting started, see the UI Library's Guide to Citation Management