Library Researcher Series: Keeping Current

Session Description: Keeping Current with the Literature

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the amount of literature published in your field? Afraid you’ll miss an important paper? Come to this session to learn strategies for keeping up-to-date with scholarly literature: from email alerting services to rss feeds.

Introduction

"Current Awareness Services" help you keep up-to-date on the scholarly literature in your field. Examples include topic alerts, table of contents (ToC) alerts, and citation alerts.

There are two main ways to set up these alerts:

1. RSS feeds: This involves setting up a "feed reader" and visiting it to read the updates - a good option if you want to reduce the volume of emails you receive, but you must remember to visit the feed reader regularly. You can also get rss feeds sent to your email.

2. Email alerting services: Involves an automatically generated email sent to you when new content is available. A good option if you really don't want to miss something!

All About RSS Feeds

RSS = "Rich Site Summary" or "Really Simple Syndication", is a web feed format used to publish frequently updated works (such as news items, blog entries, etc) in a standardized format.

RSS Feeds are tools for gathering, reading, and sharing all of the latest updates on the blogs and websites you read on a regular basis. Instead of constantly revisiting all of the same sites to check for updates, you can have all of these updates forwarded to one place: your "Feed Reader".


Look for one of these symbols - these indicate that there is a "feed" available to subscribe to: just click on the symbol and directions on how to subscribe will follow. All of the feeds that you subscribe to will be collected in your feed reader, or you can receive the feeds in your email account too.

There are many feed reader options out there, I have listed a few of the well-known (and free!) options below or you can do a quick Google search on "feed readers" for more recommendations.

Web-based RSS Feed Readers:

  1. G2Reader
  2. NewsBlur
  3. TheOldReader

Web-based Personal Dashboards:

(more than just a feed reader!)

  1. NetVibes
  2. MyYahoo

Browser or Client-based & Mobile apps:

  1. Feedly - a FireFox add-on and mobile app
  2. NetNewsWire - RSS reader for the iPhone, iPad and Mac

Setting up Alerts/Feeds from Database Searches

Many article databases will allow you to create alerts on your searches. Usually this involves creating an account with the database so that you can save the search parameters and choose your alerting preferences. Follow these general steps to set up a search alert in a database:

1. Navigate to your favourite database through the library website

2. Register for a personal account within that database

3. Perform your search

4. Look for a link on the results page that says something like "Set alert", "Set feed", "Keep me posted", "Create alert", etc (NOTE: this might also be on a "Search History" page)

See the Web of Science tutorials below for examples.

In this session I will use Scopus as an example, for a review see the Tip Sheet on Creating Alerts in Scopus or watch the video tutorial embedded below.

Off-Campus Access

IMPORTANT!

Most online journals and databases that are subscribed to by the University Library require authentication to access (NSID & password through the library website). If you are using a desktop on campus the UofS IP range provides seamless authentication.

However, if some of the alerts and feeds you subscribe to are for subscription journal content you may not have direct access to the articles from off-campus or from your on-campus laptop (through the links provided in the alert/feed).

Try the new UofS Proxy Bookmarklet!

  • If you use Chrome, Safari or Firefox drag the UofS Proxy link to your bookmark bar!
  • If you use Internet Explorer, right click on the link above and save to your favorites bar.

When you are prevented from accessing an article on a publisher's website click on the bookmarklet link in your toolbar to automatically gain access to the full text version. You must be logged in to your PAWS account to use the proxy service. If you are not already logged in you will automatically be prompted to enter your NSID and password.

Setting Alerts in Scopus

Creating Search/Topic Alerts in Web of Science

Creating Citation Alerts in Web of Science

RefWorks User? Add RSS Feeds to Your Account

proxy address

IMPORTANT!

Most online journals and databases that are subscribed to by the University Library require authentication to access (NSID & password through the library website). If you are using a desktop on campus the UofS IP range provides seamless authentication.

However, if some of the alerts and feeds you subscribe to are for subscription journal content you may not have direct access to the articles from off-campus or from your on-campus laptop (through the links provided in the alert/feed). To work around this problem:

When you click through the link provided in your alert, and arrive at the publisher's website version of the article...

Manually insert the UofS proxy string into the article URL: If your feed directs you to an article, insert this into the article URL: .cyber.usask.ca (follow example below) right after the publisher's address, then you will be prompted to authenticate with NSID & password.

 

  Example:       Article-level URL:

                              http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0099133312001231

                         Edit URL to look like this:

                              http://www.sciencedirect.com.cyber.usask.ca/science/article/pii/S0099133312001231

 

NOTE: If all else fails, you can copy and paste the journal details in the University Library catalogue and navigate to the article in the usual way.

Session Information

Winter 2015 term:

Thurs Feb 5, 12-1pm, Murray Library Rm 102

Liaison Librarian

Carolyn Doi
Contact:
Education & Music Library
Room 2003.7B, Education Building
28 Campus Drive
Phone: (306) 966-2433

Google Alerts

Is there a Google search that you perform often?

Automate that search with Google Alerts and have any new results sent to your email!

You can also set up an alert from Google Scholar - look for the "Alerts" link in the top of the page.

Journal Table of Contents Alerts/RSS Feeds

JournalTOCs is a searchable collection of scholarly journal Tables of Contents (TOCs). You can subscribe to RSS feeds for individual journal TOCs, or create an account to have email TOC alerts sent to you. It is a free service.

TIP: You can also simply visit the website of your favourite journals and scholarly societies directly. Often they will have alerting/rss feed options.