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Alerts and RSS Feeds

Setting up email alerts or RSS feeds is a great way to stay on top of developments in your research area.

RSS IconAn RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed can alert you to newly published articles or books by sending new publication lists to a feed reader dashboard, often available as a free or subscription browser plugin*. You can set up RSS feeds for many journals, blogs, and other frequently updated material directly from publisher websites, and for a BC Libraries search.

Bell-shaped alert iconAlerts can send alert you to newly published articles or books by pushing publication updates directly to your email inbox. You can set up email alerts for journals or search results in databases, or for search results in a BC Libraries search.


*BC Libraries can't recommend particular RSS feed readers. Google "Best RSS Feed Readers" for guidance. Some are free with subscription options for additional features.

Journals: RSS & Alerts

Academic journals accessed through databases generally provide links to alerts.

Alert Icon for J19: The Journal of 19th Century Americanists on Project Muse:

screenshot showing the alert link for a journal in Project Muse

Journals accessed on publisher pages or online often offer both RSS feeds and email alerts.

Here is an offering from the Journal Women's Studies, published by Taylor & Francis:

Detail from Taylor & Francis Women's Studies journal page showing RSS/Alert option drop-down menu

Email Alerts & RSS Feeds: BC Libraries Searches

When signed into your BC Libraries account, save searches to create alerts or RSS feeds for new publications in those searches in just two easy steps:

1. Use Advanced Search, then save the search by clicking the favorites icon (pushpin) just below the search box.

screenshot showing the Save This Search pushpin icon below the search box

2. Open your favorites by clicking the pushpin in the upper right corner of the library page and selecting the saved searches tab. You can then choose to click the RSS or Alerts icon.

screenshot showing RSS and Alert icons adjacent to saved searches on the My Favorites page

Email Alerts: Database Searches

Databases often provide both a saved search option and an alerts option for saved searches. For either, you will need to create an account for the database. (Note that accounts are linked to a particular vendor; e.g. if you make an account for one EBSCO database, the same login will work for any other EBSCO database.)

EBSCO

In any EBSCO database, there's a "create alert" link to the right of the search box. (Of course, different databases will locate & indicate the alert option differently.) You can create a search-based RSS feed whether you're signed in or not.

screenshot of an EBSCO database search, showing "create alert" link

If you create an account and sign in, you can also create an email alert:

EBSCO database create alert popup, showing search string, email entry, and frequency drop down

Scopus

Of course, different databases will have different interfaces. Here's an alert pop-up in Scopus to search for articles about medical humanities related to the UK. In the pop-up you can name the search (the name will appear in the email subject line) and specify how frequently it searches and sends emails.

Scopus email alert popup showing options for email address, subject line, and frequency.

ProQuest

ProQuest makes both RSS and Alerts available with or without a ProQuest account. On a search results screen, click "Save Search/Alert" in the upper right to get a drop-down with RSS and Alert options. Here is the alert pop-up, showing options for customizing the email, and setting frequency and duration.

ProQuest alert box showing fields for alert name, email subject, email content, and secondary email address. (1 of 2 images)

ProQuest alert popup showing entry bars for additional email address , subject line, and message, and selectors for frequency and duration