When you set up a search alert in a database, 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.
To set up a database search alert:
- Connect to the database you want to use through the library's home page.
- Create a personal account with the database vendor.
- Enter a search that will give you information on your research topic.
- Choose how and how often you would like to receive the results.
Case Study: EBSCO Databases
- From the library's home page, I chose "All Research Databases," then my subject area ("Library Science") and finally the database I wanted to use - "Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts," which is an EBSCO Database. (Other EBSCO databases include Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete, Education Research Complete, and over 60 more.)
- Once I entered the database, I created a personal account by choosing "Sign in to My EBSCOhost" and then "I'm a new user," which prompted me to create my profile.
- After that, I set up the search I wanted the database to run for me. I used the advanced search screen and limited by subject terms to get a more precise search (you may need to experiment with several different search terms before you decide what to save as your search). While viewing results, I chose the "Alert/Save/Share" link and then, in the pop-up box, "Create an alert."
- This opened a new screen where I saved information about my alert, including its name, a description, which databases to run it in (you can choose multiple EBSCO databases at once), how often to run it, how far back published information should go, and which e mail address to send results to. You must choose to save your search as an "alert" in order to be prompted for this information. I chose to be informed of articles published within the previous year because many scholarly journals are published quarterly, bi-annually or annually.