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Don't Get Left Behind!
Use automated features to keep up to date on your topic. 

There's no need for you to continually rerun searches in databases nor do daily checks in your favorite journals.  You can have databases, journals and news sites automatically alert you to new material that is available on your topic or area of research.


  • Saved Searches
    Each time a database is updated, your search will be run against the new items.    
  • Table of Contents (ToC) Alerts
    Email tells you when new articles and/or new issues of journals are available.   
  • RSS Feeds
    Developed to send primarily news items which are short and occur frequently; now being used to send results of saved searches.
  • Apps and Mobile Devices Pairing     
    Special features for tablet and smartphone users. 


Note: In most cases, results from email alerts and RSS feeds should be used while on-campus as the full-text links in the alerts/feeds will not work from off-campus; to access the full text of articles/journal alerts from off-campus, use the Libraries' Journal Title Lookup. 

Saved Searches

The Saved Search feature is most likely to be found in indexing databases.  Everytime the database is updated with new material, your search will be run against the new material.  You'll be sent an email with the citations for all the new material that matches your search. 

Usually the links on these emails will only work from on-campus - sometimes there will be just one link that takes you to the whole list of your results within the database or each item in your email will have a link back to the item's record within the database.  Once in the database, use the "full text", "PDF", or "Get It @ ASU" links to get to the full text of the item.

To set up a saved search, you usually create and perform the search you'd like to save.  Then look for a link or button for "Saved Searches"; if one is not available, look under headings such as "My Profile", "My Account" or "My Settings".   In some databases, saved searches are called "Alerts".  To receive an email alert you will have to register for a personal account with the database - registration is free. 

Instructions for Specific Databases

ABI/Inform (business articles and reports)

  • Once in the database, click on the "My Research" link in the upper right corner of the screen on the blue navigation bar
  • Login (If you haven't already registered, click on "Create a My Research Account)
  • Click on the "Search" link in the upper left of the screen, directly under the blue navigation bar
  • Do the search you'd like to save
  • Once the search results are displayed, click on the "Recent Searches" link on the blue navigation bar
  • A list of the searches you've performed are now listed - for the one(s) you'd like to save, mouse over the "Actions" link, then select "Save Search"

ASU Library Catalog (books, films, dissertations, sound recordings, maps, etc. added to the ASU Library)

  • Instructions for creating an alert are available at 
  • Searches must be very specific so that only a small section of the catalog records are checked each week for new items - broadly designed searches will not run to completion.

ASU Library One Search (books, journal articles, films, dissertations, sound recordings, maps, etc. added to the ASU Library)
Only RSS feed is available for a saved search; no option for email alerts.

  • Do the search
  • At the top right of the results, click on the RSS feed icon
  • Either subscribe to the feed using your web browser or copy the URL for your feed reader. (more instructions about RSS feeds is available below.) 

Compendex (journal articles and conference papers from all areas of engineering and manufacturing), and
Inspec (journal articles, conference papers, patents and technical reports in electrical engineering, computer science, and physics)
Will run a saved search strategy each week against the new items added to the database; you may create up to 125 different alerts.  Alerts must be set separately for each database - you cannot have one alert that searches both databases. 

  • Once in the database (either Compendex or Inspec), do the search you'd like to have run each week,
  • Next, click on "Search History" in the upper right of the screen
  • Click in the "Email Alert" box on the line for that search.
  • Login (If you haven't already registered, click on the "Register Now" link in the right column)
  • The Search History screen will refresh and you'll see that "Saved" is now indicated on the far right of the search. (You may now either resume searching or "End Session")
  • To review or remove your email alerts, click on the "My Alerts" link in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • A RSS feed option is available.

IEEE Xplore (journal articles, conference papers, books, and standards published by the IEEE)
Will run a saved search strategy against the new items added to the database.

  • On the blue navigation bar, click on "Sign In" and login (If you have not yet registered, click on the "Register for an IEEE Account" link) 
  • Do the search you'd like to save
  • At the top of the results list, click on the "Set Search Alert" icon, a window will pop up
  • Fill in the title of the search, and click on the Save button in the bottom left of the pop up window


SciFinder Web (covers all areas of pure and applied chemistry)
See: instructions on setting up a SciFinder Web current alert

Scopus  (journal articles from most subject areas)
Will send email notification if a specific article has been recently cited.

  • Once in Scopus, find the article for which you'd like to receive citation alerts
  • Click on the title of the article to go to the full record page,
  • Log-in (or click on the link to "Register" in the top right corner)
  • In the right hand column, click on the "Set Citation Alert" button,
  • Choose a frequency in the drop down box and click on "Set Alert".
  • To remove the alert, click on your profile button in upper right corner and select "Alerts." Go to the tab for "Document Citation Alerts" and select the button for "Inactive."

Table of Contents Alerts

Alerts are used mostly by journals to send you an email notification when a new issue has been released. Some journals also issue alerts when a new article is available online before the whole issue is complete.   The email will usually replicate the table of contents with a link to each item within in the issue but could be just a simple link to the issue as a whole.  Results from email alerts are best used when on-campus as the full text links in the email usually will not work from off-campus.  To access the full text of articles/journal alerts from off-campus, use the "Libraries One Search" database (search by article title) or the "Journal Title Lookup" (search by journal title).

For each journal from which you want an alert, go to the journal's website using the Libraries' Journal Title Lookup.   On the site, look for a link or button for "Alerts"; if one is not available, look under headings such as "My Profile", "My Account" or "My Settings".  Many journals have some form of alerting service, but  how it is set up and what the alert involves varies from publisher to publisher and sometimes even titles from the same publisher may have different features available. 

RSS Feeds

RSS Feeds were originally used to send news items which are short and occur frequently.  Many journals and databases are now offering RSS Feeds as an alternative to sending email alerts.  

Feeds are more flexible than emails but require "feed reader" software on your end.    Some web browsers have a feed reader; for example, Internet Explorer handles feeds within "Favorites", and a feed can be embedded within a web page.   For advice on choosing a feed reader, see the following or do a web search for "best feed readers".  

The feed symbol looks like this:     

  • If you would like to add the feed into your browser, when you are viewing a webpage and the browser shows the feed icon, click on the icon to display the feed and then click on the "subscribe to this feed" link.   The browser will then ask where you want the feed placed.

  • To add a feed to your reader, you'll need to have the feed's URL.  Instead of clicking on the "subscribe to this feed link", right-click on it instead; then choose "properties" - the feed's URL will be displayed in the pop-up window.  Copy and paste this URL into your feed reader.

Mobile Apps and Device Pairing

Academic publishers are starting to cater to mobile device users, however, what each is offering varies greatly.   Many of these services can help you keep up with newly added literature in your area. 



Check your Apps Store for a favorite journal, publisher, and/or database.  Some apps provide database searching while others focus on current awareness services.   Keep checking your Apps Store periodically as new apps are continually being released. 

Note: The ASU Library's institutional site licenses to journals and databases do not always include tablet access, so even if an app is available you may find that it was designed to work only with personal subscriptions.   If in doubt, use our Ask a Librarian service and we'll investigate. 

Examples of available iPad apps as of July 2013

  • SciVerse: Science Direct
    Access to Elsevier's journals; free app for institutional subscribers such as ASU.
  • SpringerLink
    Access to Springer journals and books; free app.
  • Mechanical Engineering
    Free app for access to this trade magazine from ASME.
  • Civil Engineering
    Free app for access to this trade magazine from ASCE.


BrowZine™ @ the ASU Library!

BrowZine brings a newsstand's print browsing experience to electronic journals. Easily find, read, and monitor thousands of scholarly journals directly from your iPad; smartphone and Android support coming soon.

Watch the Video Download Now
The ASU Library subscribes to Browzinean app that brings the print browsing experience to online access. The app was originally designed for the iPad but smartphone and Android versions are due during the summer and fall in 2013. After initial setup, Browzine can used off-campus to view full text and export citations into citation management software; most commercially published and professional society sci/tech titles are available.




Device Pairing

Couldn't find an app for your favorite journal/publisher?   Go to the journal's/publisher's website and look for terminology such as "mobile device pairing", "device pairing" or maybe even just "mobile".   Device paring involves the publisher identifying your specific device as belonging to an authorized ASU user. Once identified, the device can be used from off-campus to access the full text of ASU-subscribed titles from that publisher without having to go via the Libraries' website. So far we've only identified a few publishers that are offering this service:

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.