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Library: Research Alerts

Research alert service

Research alert service helps you stay up-to-date with your current areas of research relevant to your topic of interest. You can set alerts to notify you by e-mail or RSS feed when new articles are added matching the key terms you have specified.   Alerting services are available from subscribed databases, journals, publisher web sites and other web resources.

  • Alert service is a freely accessible service which
  • It requires you to provide your name and email address to create a username and password to register or setup your account with the with the service provider.  
  • You specify the search terms or the journal titles and the database automatically provides you with updated results via email.
  • Most alert services are sent as email, but some offer through RSS feed.

Research alert service set-up

Alert services vary between different databases and publishers, and they often have different names. This can sometimes make it difficult to find the alert services you want.

There are a few ways to find alert services on a database or publisher site:

  • Look on the home page for options such as "alerts" or "email updates".
  • Look for options such as "Register", "Create Profile", or "My Account", and read about what kind of alerts are offered if you sign up.
  • Look for an option to set up an alert when you're on a search results page, or when browsing journal issues and subject categories.
  • Some databases, don't link to alert services from the home page. However, the services are offered once you search or browse.

You'll need to register with each site in order to set up your alerts. Registration and services are normally free to library clients, as they are included in the subscription the library has purchased.

The best place to start is with the database you use most, or look for alert services next time you're searching or browsing journals online. Be sure to go back and fine-tune your alerts from time to time, so that they stay relevant and useful

Research alert service types

There are different types of alert services:

  • Electronic Table of Contents Alert (eTOC) automatically e-mails you the latest table of contents from your selected journal(s).
  • Saved Search permits you to re-run a successful search at a later date to collect relevant results added since the last time you ran the search.
  • Search Alert (SDI) is a saved search that runs automatically whenever the database is updated and automatically e-mails you the results.
  • Citation Alert With a citation alert you receive an e-mail alert each time an article on your list is cited in a new article.
  • Personalized Services are creatively customized database services that allow users to organize and manage databases for their personal interests and needs. Under the scope of these services, there is the user’s profile or personal account, including search history and user preferences and the information collected through the search behavior. Through the use of these services, the users are able to set-up, review and edit their alerts & saved searches, marked lists, free trials, newsletters, subscriptions and any research items they have submitted. The personalized services give users the chance to have privacy during their searches. They are helpful for the users to improve their experience of using databases.
  • RSS Feeds are an alternative way to keep up-to-date.  RSS feeds are an easy way for you to keep informed as new content is added to a favourite website, including online journal collections and blogs. 

Publishers that offer alert service

Alert services offered by major databases and publishers

Below is a brief list of the alert services offered by some of the most popular databases publishers.

TOC Alerts

Saved Search

Search Alerts

Citation Alert

RSS Feeds

Personalized Services




Nature Publishing Group

ScienceDirect (Elsevier)

Web of Science

Wiley Interscience


Many publishers and distributors may provide alerts about books as well as journals. Many professional associations and societies offer publication and conference alerts from their websites.

Citation Alerts

Publisher system notifies you when new publications cite a particular work.

Citation Alert notifies you when new publications cite a particular work.  Sometimes an additional login will be required, either before setting up an alert or as part of the process.

Register on the ScienceDirect homepage, and then set up alerts for the journals you are interested in.

Search for the title of a paper. Click on the "Cited by" link at the bottom of the search result. Click on the Create Alert (an envelope icon) in the left sidebar of the search results page.

Perform a search. When viewing a Full Record, click the Create Citation Alert button. (Note: not all Full Records in all Web of Science databases will have this button - read the database Help pages for more information). Web of Science is a platform for searching individual ISI products or multiple products simultaneously. Access is to Web of Science, Current contents connect and Journal Citation Reports

Recent research publication in open access journals


 Browzine, an online service allows for seamless management and browsing of current journals.  

BrowZine allows you to follow your must-read journals and access articles available at SCGOPH Library. 

Available on desktop, mobile or tablet. Use Chrome, IE 11+, Safari or Firefox.

Download the Android or Apple app for your device, or access BrowZine on your PC
♦ Select Sir Charles Gairdner Osborne Park Health Care Group as Institution and login with your HE number & network password.
♦ Create an account and add your favourite journals to My Bookshelf. 
♦ Login to your My Bookshelf to synchronise your bookshelf across all your devices.

JournalTOCs alert

JournalTOCs is a free service for journal tables of contents (TOCs) alerts.

Create an account and select the journals for which you want to receive alerts.


  • is a Current Awareness Service (CAS) where you can discover the newest papers coming directly from the publishers as soon as they have been published online.
  • is the biggest searchable collection of scholarly journal Tables of Contents (TOCs). It contains articles' metadata of TOCs for over 33,507 journals directly collected from over 3768 publishers.
  • has taken special care to include all the highest rated journals in their fields, guaranteeing quality results. See Selection Criteria.
  • pulls together a database of Table of Contents (TOCs) from scholarly journals and provides a convenient single "one stop shop" interface to these TOCs.
  • includes titles from:

Table of Contents Alerts: eTOC

Publisher system sends you the table of contents each time a new issue of a journal is published.

Table of Contents (eTOC) service alerts you each time a new issue of a journal is published. Links to full-text articles are sometimes provided.

You will need to register with the database or journal. 

Search alert

A Search Alert in a database notifies you of new articles that match a search you have saved.  This notification alerts you of new articles in a given subject area, by a certain author, or containing specific keywords.  You need to register to receive notifications through email.

Databases that offer search alerts include:

Select an Ovid database and conduct a search. Save your search history as an alert with the option Save Search ... as an Auto Alert Search. Fill in the General Parameters and you will receive a Confirmation Message.

Choose the option to save your search history as an alert. Web of Science is a platform for searching individual ISI products or multiple products simultaneously. Access is to Web of Science, Current Contents Connect and Journal citation reports.

Register on the ScienceDirect homepage, conduct a search, save the search, and specify how often you would like to be notified.

Search for your topic and click "Create Alert" in the left hand sidebar.

  • PubMed

    Setting up alerts with PubMed is an easy process of just a few steps:

    • NCBI Account Login FAQs

    • Perform a search of interest for which you would like to set up an alert.

    • Click the "Create Alert" link located below the search box.

    • Save the search and set the frequency and day for email results.

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