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Michigan State University

Keeping Up with the Literature: Journal 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 Journal Alert?

A journal alert automatically notifies you when new content from a journal is available.

Useful for:

  • Monitoring key journals

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 Digg Reader (browsers and iOS) or Feedly (browsers, Android, iOS)

How to Set Up Journal Alerts

MSU Libraries Database or Index:

  • To find the index that contains a specific journal, go to the Electronic Journals page and type the journal name in the 'Find Electronic Journals' search box.  A list of electronic indexes will result if MSU has access to the journal. 
  • Choose a link that provides access to current issues.
  • Look for a link such as 'Alerts' or 'Set up Alerts' to customize an alert to be delivered via email or RSS feed. Some databases may require you to create an account to set up alerts.

Pros: You may be able to get full-text of the journal content automatically delivered.

Cons: There may be a time-lag getting content delivered

Journal Publisher's Website:  Another option  is to use a search engine to find the publisher's Website.  Look for a link such as 'Alert services'

Pros: The content may be delivered faster.

Cons: You may not be able to view full-text of the content as it does not link to MSU's subscriptions.

Michigan State University