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Barwon Health Library Service: Current Awareness Services

Evidence for Excellence

Current Awareness Services

Current Awareness Services keep you up to date with the latest research in your field

  • Most Library databases allow you to create alerts for journal table of contents and saved searches. You then get automatic notifications whenever new issues of a journal or article matching your search terms are added to the database.
  • Sometimes you will need to create an account with a database to use these features. Note, this is not the same as your Library Membership account.
  • Alerts are usually available in email or RSS format.

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Current Awareness Alerts

You can receive the eTOC (or electronic Table of Contents) of your favourite journal before publication

  • Just sign up on your favourite journal's webpage to receive alerts.
    • Look for the terms "eTOC", or "Alert".
    • You can link through to full text if the library has a subscription to the journal.
    • eTOCs are generally sent by RSS feed or email.
  • BrowZine - create an account and receive alerts when new articles are published
  • Journal eTOC Request - the library can suggest relevant journals to you in your clinical speciality

Some databases offer citation alerts. Each time the article you select is cited you will receive an email notification.

  • Register or set up an account with the database provider. These are free and typically involve creating a username, a password and providing an email address. Remember these details for accessing saved searches and modifying alerts.

Article citation alert notifies you by email whenever a publication (e.g. journal article) you have chosen has been cited by a new publication that has been added to the database.

  • Once you identify the article of interest, click on the Cited By hyperlink.
  • Click on 'Create Alert' link on the left hand side, enter your preferences, and create the alert.

Author citation alert notifies you whenever an author is cited in the database

  • Google Scholar provides the ability to track authors who have a Google Scholar profile. Go to the author's profile and click Follow to set up alerts to new citations to this author.

Search alerts are an efficient way of receiving notifications of new articles added to databases and journals that match your search criteria.

  • Register or set up an account with the database provider. These are free and typically involve creating a username, a password and providing an email address. Remember these details for accessing saved searches and modifying alerts.
  • Once you have completed a search in the database look for terms such as 'save alert', or 'set feed' on the results page
  • Topic Search Alert Assistance - receive tailored Librarian assistance to set up your alert for new database content on topics of your choosing.

Conference Alerts: academic conferences worldwide - Receive free e-mailed updates of conferences matching your interests, available dates and preferred destinations. Click on 'Subscribe' to stay up to date with what's happening in your field. You can also add an event and/or promote an event.

Conference Services - Browse conference by subject and country -A global conference directory where you can find conferences, conventions, trade shows, exhibits, and events in any line of business or Interest occurring anywhere in the world.

RSS feeds push updates from relevant websites to subscribers.

  • They help keep you up to date with information without having to visit the site
  • Many journals and databases offer alerts via RSS feeds
  • They are generally denoted by "RSS" or an image

RSS Reader

  • An RSS reader, or aggregator, allows you to organize and read RSS feeds from multiple sites in one place. A wide range of readers are freely available on the Web, for example Feedly or Inoreader


Current Awareness Resources


Browzine (Web / iPad, iPhone / Android) allows you to follow your favourite ejournals:

  • Create a personal bookshelf of favourite journals
  • Easily read complete scholarly journals in a format that is optimized for tablet devices
  • Receive device notification when new issues of journals are published
  • Build reading lists of articles with durable links
  • Export citations
  • BrowZine email alerts: Stay current with new journal publications using BrowZine email alerts

Read by QXMD (Web / iOS / Android) allows you to follow your favourite ejournals along with keywords and topics:

  • One tap access to full text PDFs provided by the library
  • Annotate and save PDFs
  • Get alerts from your favourite journals, keywords or collections (e.g. top EM Articles 2020)
  • View recommended and trending articles for your specialty
  • Share and comment on articles

Google Scholar - set up article alerts from your literature search

  • Search for your topic
  • click on the Create Alert Icon on the left-hand side of the screen -
  • enter your email address and click on 'Create Alert'