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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


Most indexing/abstracting databases such as PsycInfo, Web of Science, etc., provide a feature that can automatically keep you up-to-date on new publications in your research area. Some journal publishers who have more sophisticated websites may also offer an alerting feature that covers all the publications on their platform. You can also use this feature to keep track of new publications from specific authors and organizations. Once you have created an alert, everytime the database is updated with new material, you'll receive an email with the citations for all the new items that match your topic. You will have to register for a personal account with the database (free) in order to take advantage of any alerting features. 

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 an alert, you usually create and perform the search you'd like to save. Then look for a link or button for "Alerts" or "Saved Searches"; if you don't see either of these, look under menus such as "My Profile", "My Account" or "My Settings".   

Below are instructions for the major search platforms available via the ASU Library: 

ASU Library Catalog

ASU Library Catalog is a record of the books, films, dissertations, sound recordings, maps, and other type of material available in the ASU Library.

  • Start at the Libraries' home page

  • Logging-in to Your Account
    • Click on MY ACCOUNTS on the gray navigation bar and choose MY LIBRARY ACCOUNT
    • Login with your ASURITE id and password
    • Click on ASU Library Catalog on the gray navigation bar 

  • Setting up the Search
    • Do the search you'd like to save 
    • On the results page, click on the gray SAVE AS PREFERRED SEARCH  button (on the far right of the search box line)

  • Setting up the Email
    • Click on the "Return to Your Record" link (above the search box)
    • On your account page, click on PREFERRED SEARCHES  link (in the left column under your name)
    • On the line for the search you just saved, check the box under MARK FOR EMAIL
    • Click on UPDATE LIST

  • Removing Searches
    • To stop the weekly email notices but keep the search in your account, unclick the MARK FOR EMAIL box for the that search then click on UPDATE LIST
    • To completely remove a search, click the box MARK TO REMOVE for that search, then click on UPDATE LIST
    • To remove all searches, click on the DELETE ALL SEARCHES button, then click on UPDATE LIST

  •  Logging-off of Your Account
    • Click on the LOGOUT button in the upper right corner of the screen
    • After the logout is finished, close the browser window

  • Every Monday your active searches will be run against the newly added material; if any new materials are found you'll receive an email with the list of items.

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EBSCOhost is a platform of databases from across the subject spectrum.  ASU subscribes to the following: 



  • Once in the database, click on the "Sign In" link in the upper right of the screen on the burgundynavigation bar

  • If you do not have a My EBSCOhost account, click on Create a New Account, or Login

  • Run a search and view your results
  • Click on the Search History link, then under the Search History Alerts header, click the Save Searches/Alerts link

  • On the following page, enter a Name and/or Description for the search, e.g. Global Health Research Paper

  • In the Save Search As sections, select either Saved Search Permanent; Saved Search (Temporary, 24 hours), or Alert
  • To save the search, click Save. After Saving, you are returned to the Search History/Alerts page
  • To save the search as an alert

To retrieve saved searches:

  • From the Search History/Alerts screen, click Retrieve Searches
  • Login into your My EBSCOhost account, and enter your name and password
  • Saved Searches area of your folder displays
  • Click on the Retrieved Saved Search link and select your search 

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Engineering Village

Engineering Village has two databases: 

  • EI Compendex (all areas of engineering and manufacturing), and 
  • Inspec (electrical engineering, computer science, and physics)



Each database 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. 

  • When you enter Engineering Village from the link above, both databases will be checked - Uncheck the one you do not wish to scareen
  • Once you have set the search for the specific database (either Compendex or Inspec), do the search you'd like to have run each week,
  • On the results screen, in the light green bar near the top of the screen, click on "Create Alert" 

  • Login (If you haven't already registered, click on the "Register Now" link in the right column)
  • The screen will refresh, and you'll be at the main search screen again, but this time, scroll the screen down and you'll see a "Search History" section that will show all of the searches you've done in this session. If you have created an alert for a search, you'll see the red, "Remove Alert" option available.  (You may now either resume searching or "End Session")

  • To review your complete list of saved searches and email alerts, click on the "View Saved Searches" link in the lower right corner of the "Search History" section.

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Google Scholar

Google Scholar indexes the journal articles from all subject areas that publishers have placed on the web.   Which articles are covered depends on how (or if) the publishers have made the articles visible to Google. 

  • From the ASU Library home page, select Google Scholar from the Frequently Used Resources collection at the bottom of the page:

  • On the following Google Scholar home page, login with your Google account on the top right hand side of the screen
  • Type in your keywords to search for articles (e.g. archaeology southwest):

  • On the search results page, click on Create Alert on the bottom left hand side of the screen:

  • On the create alerts page, verify alert search string (e.g. "archaeology southwest"); select your that you would like the alerts to be sent to; select the number of alerts from the pull down menu (i.e. 10 or 20); and then click Create Alert

  • A verification email is sent to your email. Open the email and click on the link in the verification email from Google Scholar to recieve alerts on your search topic.  
  • Google Scholar will begin to periodically email you newly published papers from Google Scholar that match your search criteria
  • To unsubscribe alerts, click on the link to cancel the alert at the bottom of every notification email

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Proquest is a platform of databases from across the subject spectrum.  ASU subscribes to the following:


  • 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 "Create Alert" link towards the upper right above the results.

  • Fill in the Alert information screen and click on the orange "Create Alert" button at the bottom.

  • To manage your alerts, go into "My Research" and click on the "Alerts" tab

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PubMed (journal articles from biomedical and health sciences)
Will send email notification for newly published articles that come up with your saved search 

  • Once in PubMed, click on 'My NCBI' at the top right and sign in (or create a My NCBI account)

    Screen shot of 'Sign in to NCBI' link
  • Try out search terms for your topic and find the best combination of keywords and/or subject headings to get on-target results
  • Under the search bar, click 'Save search'

    Screen shot of 'save search' link under search bar
  • Give this saved search a name or leave the default search words
  • Click 'Save'

    screen shot of naming area for saved search and 'save' button
  • Select 'Yes, please' under the option, 'Would you like email updates of new search results?'
  • Select your preferences:
    • Frequency of email alert
    • Day of the week for receipt
    • Format
    • Number of items
    • and, Add text you'd like to see in this email alert Subject Line
  • Click 'Save'
  • You will now receive email alerts according to your preferences.
  • An RSS feed option is also available.
  • To remove the alert, sign in to your NCBI Account, Saved Searches, and click on the blue gear symbol to change or delete the alert. 

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SciFinder contains two bibliographic databases that offer an alerting service (called "Keep Me Posted"): 

  • CAPlus, covering all areas of pure and applied chemistry 
  • Medline, covering the same content as PubMed database


  • Do the search you'd like to save.
  • On the results screen, click on the "Create Keep Me Posted alert" button on the white navigation bar.

  • Fill in the "Keep Me Posted" alert information 

  • To manage your alerts, click on the "Saved Searches" button on the gray navigation bar and select "Keep Me Posted"

SciFinder also has a 5 minute slide presentation that explains how to "Create a 'Keep Me Posted' Alert"

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Web of Knowledge

The Web of Knowledge platform has two databases: 

And it has two different types of alerts: 

Instructions for setting up a topic alert: 

  • Once you're in the database, do the search you'd like to save. 
  • On the results page, at the top right, click on "Sign In" and then login (or register) 

  • Back on the results page, in the upper left, click on the orange "Create Alert".

  • Fill out the information in the Save Search History  window 

  • To manage your alerts, click on My Tools in the upper right and select "Saved Searches & Alerts"

Instructions for setting up a citation alert for a specific article:

  • Once in the database, 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
  • On the full record page, at the top right, click on "Sign In" and then login (or register) 
  • Back on the full record page, in the right hand column, click on the "Create Citation Alert" button,

  • To manage your alerts, click on My Tools in the upper right and select "Saved Searches & Alerts"

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Need Help?

When you can't find the information you need ...

We'll recommend the best resources and search strategies to use. 

Ways You Can Use the Topic Alert ...

For researchers:

  • Find new articles published in your research area

  • Keep track of specific authors who write in your field

For students:

  • Find new articles related to your dissertation or thesis topic

  • Keep track of what potential employers are producing

For Instructors/Mentors:

  • Keep track of where your former students are employed and what they are producing

For administrators:

  • Keep track of what the faculty in your unit are producing

  • Keep track of what your peers and aspirational peers are producing  

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