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Keeping Current

How to use journal alerts, RSS feeds, saved searches, and more to receive updates on the current literature in your research area


Academic publishers are starting to provide services to mobile device users, however, what is offered, on which devices, and how long the publisher supports it, varies greatly.   Some of the services may help you keep up with newly added literature in your area, so if you're a tablet or smartphone user, it's worth investigating.  

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Device Applications

Most commercially published and professional society titles are available via BrowZine.


Journal, Publisher, and Database Apps

Check your Apps Store for a favorite journal, publisher, and/or database. Some apps provide database searching while others focus on current awareness services.  Unfortunately, the mobile device applications market is still in a fluid state.  Although games and personal convenience applications are popular, there are some services for which consumers seem to be preferring to use their device's web browser instead of an app.  Scholarly publication may be such an area as we've already seen the demise of some large database searching apps (presumably for lack of use).     

Important Notes for app users: 
  • Set up the app while on-campus.
    The app may need to recognize you as being associated with a subscribing institution. Once the app has been set up successfully while on-campus, you may then see if it will work from off-campus locations. In some cases, you may be required to set up a personal account with the journal/publisher/database.  

  • Apps don't always work with institutional subscriptions. 
    Many of the journal applications we've seen are designed to work only with personal subscriptions and do not recognize the ASU Library's institutional site licenses. Sometimes this issue is mentioned in the app's description or technical information sections.
    If the app indicated it should work for institutional subscriptions and it does not, use our Ask a Librarian service and we'll investigate. 

  • If the app isn't free, don't download it.  
    A substantial required  payment indicates that this is a personal subscription app. Even if the app cost is nominal (only a few dollars), remember ... as an ASU employee or currently enrolled student you have free access to ASU subscribed journals and databases by going via the ASU Library's website. Also check BrowZine to see if the journal is freely available via that app. 

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Device Pairing

Device pairing involves the publisher identifying your specific device as belonging to an authorized ASU user. Once identified, the device can be used from both on- and off-campus to access the full text of ASU-subscribed titles from that publisher. You may be required to set up a personal account with the publisher. This type of service is relatively new and not yet popular with publishers; so far we've only identified a few offering some form of this service:  

Periodically, check your favorite journal's/publisher's website and look for terminology such as "mobile device pairing", "device pairing", "twinning", or just "mobile" to see if they have added some aspect of this service.

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