Skip to Main Content

Current Awareness

This guide aims to get you started with a selection of current awareness services to help you stay up-to-date in your research field.

Database and research alerting services

Creating Alerts: Web of Science

Web of Science offers three types of alerting services:

  • Search / Topic Alerts - save a search and establish a daily, weekly or monthly email notification when new publications are added that match
  • Citation Alerts - have a favourite or important article you want to track?  WoS will notify you when it receives new citations.
  • Table of Contents Alerts - subscribers to our Current Contents Connect database can set up TOC alerts for their favourite journals all in one place

To create an alert you must:

 (a) register for a WoS user profile. If you are not sure how to register watch this Create a Profile video  

 (b) sign in to Web of Science via the TU Dublin Library A-Z Database Listing.

Once registered this will allow you to:

  • access Web of Science off campus
  • save your searches and view your search history
  • set up search alerts and citation alerts (alerts don't expire)
  • save lists of records for later use
  • sign in with the same credentials for InCites, EndNote online and Publons

Use these short videos to help you get started setting up alerting services:

Web of Science offers a good range of supports to researchers. Find out more about alerts and managing records and search results at

A full listing of support videos is available at

Creating Alerts: Scopus

Like Web of Science, you need to register as a Scopus user and sign in via the TU Dublin Library A-Z Database Listing to use Scopus alerting services.

Once signed in you are able to create (a) search alerts (b) article citation alerts and (c) author citation and new document alerts to stay up-to-date as needed. Use these alerts to receive email notices when new documents are loaded on Scopus. From the Alerts page, you can create alerts, view the latest results for an alert, edit alerts, and delete alerts. This can also be done from your Search History on the front page. There is no limit on the number of alerts you can create. You can also follow an author using their Orcid or Scopus profile. You may wish to set up a profile yourself using these tools.

A search alert is a saved search that you can schedule to run at certain intervals. If any new results are found, you will receive an email with the first 25 results and a link into Scopus to access all new results. 

To set a new search alert:

From the document search page, perform a new search. From the search results page, click Set alert. Set the frequency and day of the week to start alerts.

To set an author alert:

From the Author search page, perform a new search. From the search results page, click an author's name.

From the author details page, click Set citation alert or Set Document Alert

To set a document alert:

From the Document search page, perform a new search. From the search results page, click a document's name. From the Document details page, click Set citation alerts

Like Scopus and Web of Science you need to (a) register as a Science Direct user and  (b) sign in via the TU Dublin Library A-Z Database Listing to use Science Direct alerting services.

The Science Direct database offer the following alerting services:

  • Recommendations
  • Reading History
  • Journal / book series alert
  • Search alert
  • Follow Author Profiles

You can set up alerts to notify you of new volume issues of specific journals, book-series, handbooks added . You can also set up alerts to notify you of new articles on that match your search request.

Note: Topic alerts are no longer available. Please consider creating a search alert for your topics of interest.

See also the Science Direct e-tutorial on setting up and managing alerts 

IEEE Xplore offers alerts by email for a number of options: 

  • Journals and Magazines
  • Standards
  • Conferences
  • Saved Searches
  • Citations
  • Authors
  • Books

Access the database via the TU Dublin Library A-Z database listing and register with the database before setting up alerts.

Creating Alerts: Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Similar to many of the subject databases it offers three types of alerting services: article citation alerts, a Table of Contents (TOC) service and a topic search alerting option. To receive alerts ensure you have registered for a Google Scholar author profile.

Some tips for setting and using alerts in Google Scholar:

  • Locate the full-text of a document using the Library Setting Find@TUDublin
  • Check who's citing your publications. Create a public author profile and set up citation alerts for your own articles.
  • Set new article alerts for academics in your field.
  • Set alerts for key topics in your area.
  • Follow the academics in your field and get updates using their GS profile 'Follow Button'.
  • Save items to the 'My Library' folder and setup labels for key areas of interest.
  • Check the 'My Updates' inbox on a regular basis.
  • Subscribe to TOC alerts

To create alerts:

  1. From the Google Scholar homepage, expand the menu on the top left
  2. Click the Alerts Envelop on the left
  3. Click Create Alert button and fill out search words and email address
  4. Locate Alerts Envelop in the right column to view saved alerts



PubMed® is a citation resource from the US National Institute of Health's National Library of Medicine and the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NIH/NLM/NCBI). It holds over 30 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and e-books. 

To use the alert services you must first register with MyNCBI.

Create an email alert for a search

Click "Create alert" under the search bar to create an automatic email update for searches. Y

Create an RSS feed for a search

Click on Create RSS under the search box at the top of the page to create an RSS feed for your search.

  1. The RSS feed name will default to the search terms. You can edit the RSS feed name as needed.

  2. Use the pull-down menu to select the number of items displayed (up to 100).

  3. Click the Create RSS button.

  4. The RSS Feed Link will appear; click on Copy to copy the link.

  5. Use this link with your feed reader or other application.

Other options include: 

  • Save searches & automatic e-mail alerts

  • Display format preferences

  • Filter options

  • My Bibliography & NIH public access policy compliance

  • SciENcv: a researcher biosketch profile service

  • Highlighting search terms

  • Recent activity searches & records for 6 months

  • LinkOut, document delivery service & outside tool selections


PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).

It offers the following alerting services:

Preprint servers now offer alerts via RSS, email and Twitter.

Preprint servers are an open-access archive for scholarly articles in the fields of biological sciences, chemistry, computing, economics, engineering, medicine, mathematics, statistics, physics and technology. Register with each service to signup for alerts. Note: materials on these sites are not yet peer-reviewed.

Research aggregators are relatively new open science resources that provide links to (mainly) open access research articles and related information such as datasets. Register with the service to obtain alerts via email, to set up a reading list or to follow a topic or author. A selection of these includes:



Semantic Scholar

OpenAire Explore




This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0