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Keeping Your Research Current: Journal Alerts

A guide to tools and services that help you stay up to date with research in your area.

Using alert services to stay up-to-date with journal publications

There are many ways to stay up-to-date with new journal publications:

  • Table of Contents Alerts send you the table of contents each time a new issue of a journal is published
  • Search Alerts service notify you when new articles occur that match a search you have saved.
  • Citation Alerts notify you when new publications cite a particular work.
  • Author Alerts update you when a particular author has a new publication.


 Most alert services are offered as emails or RSS Feeds.

Table of Contents alerts

A Table of Contents (TOC) service alerts you each time a new issue of a journal is published. Links to full-text articles are sometimes provided.

You will need to register with the database or journal. This is usually free.

Some major publishers with TOC alerts include:

Citation Alerts

Citations are used in measuring research impact.  The Library has created a Citations, Altmetrics and Research Impact Guide that you may find useful.

A Citation Alert notifies you when new publications cite a particular work.  Sometimes an additional login will be required, either before setting up an alert or as part of the process.

You can set up citation alerts in databases such as the following:

JournalTOCs - a free alerting service

JournalTOCs is a free service for journal tables of contents (TOCs) alerts. It covers 23,918 journals (including 7,514 selected Open Access journals) from 2159 publishers.

Simply create an account and select the journals for which you want to receive alerts.

Search alerts

A Search Alert notifies you of new articles that match a search you have saved. This can alert you to new articles in a given subject area, by a certain author, or containing specific keywords. 

Examples of databases that offer search alerts include:

Author alerts

Some databases can alert you when a particular author is cited or has a new work added. For example:


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