Skip to main content
LibApps staff login


Library and Internet resources for construction topics.


Don't Get Left Behind!
Keep Your Literature Review Up-to-date


Use the "Saved Search",  "Alert" and "RSS Feed" features within databases, journals and news-sites 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 or news sites.  You can have them automatically alert you to new material that is available on your topic/area of research

  • Saved search features are mostly likely to be available within databases that index journal articles.  Each time the database is updated, your search will be run against the new items.  You'll receive an email with a citation list of the new items that matched your search.  Most databases update weekly.  
  • Alerts send you an email notification and are mostly used to let you know when a new issue of a journal has been released.  The email will usually replicate the table of contents.  
  • RSS Feeds require a "feed reader".   Most web browsers have a feed reader and you can also use "My ASU" (Announcements box, and as part of "My Stuff" link in the left column) to handle your feeds.    Feeds are mostly used to send news items which are short and occur frequently.  Some databases are now using feeds to send the results of saved searches and feeds are becoming more common on journal sites as well.    

How you set up an alert, feed or save a search will vary.  In most cases you'll be required to set up a personal account or profile with the journal or database --- there is no charge for this but you will have to identify yourself and provide an email address.  

Note: 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-camus, use the Libraries' Journal Title Lookup. 

Save a Search

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. 

The links on these emails will only be usable 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.

How to Set Up a Saved Search

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.

Create an Alert

Alerts are email notifications to let you know when new material is available.   Alerts are generally used by journals to let you know when a new issue has been released and by citation databases to let you know when a new article has cited an older article that you have flagged.   

How to Set Up a Journal Alert

For each journal from which you want an alert, go to the journal's website using the Libraries' Journal Title Lookup.   On the journal 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".   Once you have provided the publisher with your email address, there should be a link and/or instructions on setting up an alert.   

Most journals have some form of alerting service, but it varies from publisher to publisher and sometimes even titles from the same publisher may have different features available.   n some cases, the journal sends links only when an issue is complete; others will send links to individual articles whenever they have been put online without waiting for the whole issue to be available.  When a journal sends an announcement of a whole issue, in some cases they will provide a direct link to the full text for each article within the issue; other just send you the link to the issue's table of contents.   

Results from email alerts should be used while on-campus as the full-text links in the email will not work from off-campus; to access the full text of articles/journal alerts from off-camus, use the Libraries' Journal Title Lookup to go to the journal's website. 


How to Set Up a Citation Alert

Use citation alerts in Scopus to find out who is citing your publications and/or who is citing the important works in your research area.  

  • Once in Scopus, find the item for which you'd like to receive citation alerts
  • Click on the title of the article to go to the full record page
  • In the right hand column, click on the "Set Citation Alert" link
  • Log-in (or register) and fill out form
  • To remove or modify an alert, click on the "Alerts" link on the teal-colored toolbar and go to the "Documents Citation Alerts" box.  In the box, click either the Edit (to modify) or Delete (to remove) for that specific alert.

RSS Feed (version 1)

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.    Most web browsers have a feed reader; for example, Internet Explorer handles feeds within "Favorites", and a feed can be embedded within a web page.  Some sections within "My ASU" will handle feeds (Announcements box, "My stuff" area) and for those who use MicroSoft Outlook for email,  RSS feeds are in the same mail section as your InBox, Sent, and Deleted Folders. 

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 fee'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 mobilr 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.  


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. 



The ASU Library subscribes to Browzine, software that brings the print browsing experience to online access. Originally introduced as an app for the iPad, it now available both in app form for all major mobile devices as well as on the web via your favorite web browser.  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

  • For app users, you must set up your app while on-campus.  After the initial set up you may use Browzine from off-campus. 
  • For web users, you must access Browzine via "Research Databases" just as you do with other databases when you are off-campus.  

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.