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Keeping Up with the Literature: Search Alerts

This guide provides information about different methods for keeping up-to-date with the most recent literature in a field of study.

Why Set Up a Search Alert?

A search alert automatically notifies you when new articles or content meeting your search query (eg. : keyword, subject search, author, etc.) are available.

Useful for:

  • long-term research projects or papers
  • monitoring the literature in a field
  • keeping up with key researchers

Email Alerts vs. RSS Feeds. What are RSS Feeds?

Instead of going out to MSU databases or free Web sites to search for content, you can select to have new content delivered to you.  To do this you need to set up a place to store your content.

  • If you use the Mozilla Firefox browser, you can set up a live bookmark toolbar to store your feeds. Go to Tools --> Options --> Applications and type 'live bookmark in the search box to set this up.  More information is available here 
  • You can choose to store your content on another free feed reader such as Bloglines, or Netvibes

How to Set Up Search Alerts

MSU Libraries Database or Index:

  • Find an index by subject
  • Conduct a search using the basic or advanced search screen options. 
  • Look for a link on the results page such as 'Set up alert'


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