The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Current Awareness: Home

Keep up-to-date on your research through saved searches, alerts, rss and other publisher and database features.

How To Use This Guide

This guide provides information on:



The "How Do I...?" provides guidance on specific tools and resources on setting up alert features, saved searches, etc.

Ways of Alerting

There are several ways you can use the features offered by various publishers websites, databases, the web and blogs to stay current and drive the information to you.



Table of Content Alerts - TOC alerts are setup by selecting various journals and having the new issue's 'table of contents' emailed directly to you when it is published.  This allows you to skim titles and save to read later. Most journals and databases offer this type of alert. 


Search Alerts - This is most often a feature found on a database.  Again, you will most likely be required to create an account so that you can save all of your information in one place.  The benefit is that if you are consistently doing research on a specific topic, you don't have to continually create new searches.  This will save the boolean search terms you have set and then search for new information on the same prescribed search variables. Most journals and databases offer this type of alert. 


Citation Alerts - Most databases allow you to select an article and create this type of alert for every time it is cited in another publication. This is especially helpful if you are looking for similar information or if you want to see who is citing your work. Citation alerts are not available in all databases. JSTOR (how to steps) and Scopus (how to steps) and are databases that offer this service





Email Alerts - Probably one of the easiest ways to get information delivered right to you is through your inbox.  Most databases and publication websites, as well as news agencies, magazines, and journals, use this feature.  To access this feature, you may need to create an account on the website so that you can 'subscribe' to the alerting feature.  Once they have your email, you can pick and choose what you want have sent and when (daily, weekly, etc.) and in what form (digest, etc.).


RSS Feeds - You can have information delivered to your blog reader (Google Reader, etc.) by selecting websites, blogs, journals, etc. that have RSS services.  These will be delivered automatically once you subscribe to their RSS.  Then you can simply read in one place - your reader! (What is RSS?)


Twitter - Twitter is quickly becoming the one-stop destination for blog posts.  Instead of using RSS, many bloggers are now using twitter to update people about articles, news, postings, etc.  Twitter gadgets can be added to the Google home page for quick scanning of updated information without actually having to go to the Twitter home page.


Beth Filar Williams
ERIT Dept - Jackson Library

email me at: