Keep up to date

Student using mobile phone to keep up to date

A number of tools and services are available to help you keep up to date with the latest developments in your subject area by notifying you when new information becomes available.

Journal alerts

Journal alerts allow you to keep up to date with newly published articles from your favourite journals.

  • For the largest freely available collection of scholarly journal Tables of Contents (TOCs), use JournalTOCs. It is for anyone who's looking for the latest or most current papers published in the scholarly literature. It is free, searchable, and provides alerts on request.
  • The Researcher app offers a social media style method of tracking your chosen journals.
  • You can create alerts for journals, authors, preprints and more, with Europe PMC.
  • Google Scholar offer an alert service and provide Alert guidance on how to set them up.

Database alerts

Search alerts can be set up within databases to provide automatic notification when new results are available. They are an easy and effective way of gathering scholarly information on your subject without having to constantly re-enter the exact search terms into a databases.

  • You can set up database search alerts to notify you by email when new results relating to your search are added to the database. Many databases, including Academic Search Complete, Web of Science and Science Direct, provide this option. You will usually need to register with a database in order to save your search.
  • Citation alerts are a good way of keeping track of essential articles in your subject area by building on resources you have already identified as being very helpful. If an article, which cites your selected article or author, is added to the database you will be alerted. Citation databases, such as Scopus and Web of Science, offer the option of citation alerts.


  • Create an alert to be notified by email of news stories on your selected topic.For news reports, including UK national and regional newspapers and major newspapers from around the world use Nexis UK.
  • Another source is BBC News  which is updated every minute of every day. This site also has the option to set up an RSS feed.

Social Media

  • Twitter is a good source of real-time information. Through Twitter you can discover and share new information, keep an eye on what others in your field are saying and develop new contacts. To stay up to date with Twitter, you can create your own account and follow individuals or organisations in your field, or use Twitter’s search box to find out what is being said about your chosen topic.
  • Blogs are a good way to keep up to date with news, new developments and opinions. As well as personal blogs, more and more companies, organisations and institutions utilise blogs to disseminate information. Most blogs usually allow you to keep up to date using RSS or by subscribing for email alerts.
  • Our Being Digital Making the most of social networking activities, include further advice on using social networks to help you keep up to date.

Mailing Lists

  • Joining a mailing list is a good way to ensure you don't miss out on key discussions around a topic. JISCmail  is a service designed specifically for the education and research communities and provides access to UK academic discussion lists. You can search or browse by subject category to find lists on a specific topic and subscribe to receive email alerts.