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BGSU University Libraries

Manage Yourself and Your Info!: Journal and DB Search Alerts

A few suggested tools to keep up in your field and to organize your research findings.

What are Alerts?

Alerts are personal notifications you save online for particular journal titles or database searches.

An alert will regularly run a search for new content. When new articles that match your search are published in a journal or added to a database, you will get an e mail listing the articles. You can also choose to receive this information as an RSS feed.

Alerts can be created for almost any journal or database.

Journal Alerts

To set up an alert for a particular journal:

  1. Choose the journal you are interested in following.
    Is there a particular journal that you use a lot in your research? Is there one journal that is recognized as the top journal in your field?

  2. Create an online account for the library's current subscription or at the journal's website.
    Search the library's e-journals list to see if BGSU has a current subscription. If not, use Google to find the journal's home page on its publisher's website. Even if we don't subscribe, you should still be able to set up an alert to view the table of contents of each issue. Then create a profile on the platform.

  3. Specify how you want to receive information and how often.

Case Study: The Journal of Academic Librarianship

  1. From the library's home page, I searched for the journal title in the e-journals link.

  2. Next, I identified a current subscription (in this case, through the OhioLINK Electronic Journal Center) and connected to the journal.

    E-Journal Search Results
  3. I created a personal account in the subscription platform (the OhioLINK EJC).

    EJC Personal Account
  4. Returning to the journal home page in the EJC, I added it to my account.

    Add to My Journals
  5. I then chose to be notified in e mail when new issues or articles are added.

    E Mail Alert

Database Search Alerts

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:

  1. Connect to the database you want to use through the library's home page.
  2. Create a personal account with the database vendor.
  3. Enter a search that will give you information on your research topic.
  4. Choose how and how often you would like to receive the results.

Case Study: EBSCO Databases

  1. 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.)

    Connecting to LISTA
  2. 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.

    Creating a MyEBSCOhost Account
  3. 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."

    Choose to create an alert in EBSCO
  4. 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.

    Saving an alert in EBSCO