Keeping Up To Date
Researchers need to keep up-to-date with the literature of their subject and be aware of recent developments in their field. Here are some ideas.
Search alerts inform you when new articles are published which are relevant to your research.
- Register/log into your account on the database
- Create a search and refine it
- Save your search strategy and ask to be alerted
Cited article alerts
- Identify a document which is important to you, such as key theoretical and methodological papers in your field, or publications by major scholars in your area
- You will be notified when someone cites the article
Contents pages from journals
Table of Contents (TOCs) services alert you when the next issue of a journal appears. Some publishers will also tell you when a new article is accepted.
New book alerts
In many subjects, knowing about new books is particularly important. Many publishers and booksellers offer email alerts.
Academic publishers, eg
Specialist bookshops eg
Union catalogues eg
Conferences are an important way of disseminating cutting-edge information. See our conferences guide for more information.
Theses and dissertations
Theses and dissertations are expected to contain new information, but they are not included in most databases, such as Web of Science or PubMed. Often the key material will have been published as a book or articles, but sometimes authors don’t disseminate their work in this way.
- Conduct a separate search for theses and dissertations
- Consider limiting your search to the last 3 years
Services which will keep you up-to-date with new patents:
- Patent Application Alert Service - From the US Patent and Trademark Office
- European Patent Office - Register Alert
See our patents guide for more information.
The Library provides a number of current newspapers online.
Online discussion lists and mailing lists help you keep in touch with people across the world who are interested in your subject.
- JISCMail heavily used in English-speaking academia
- CataList, the official Listserv catalogue of email discussion lists
Social networks can be very useful for keeping up to date with discussions, news and publications.
Academic social networks
These networks notify you when other users bookmark and upload papers, or start discussions in your chosen interest areas.
Twitter allows you to follow interesting accounts from people or organisations and receive a constant stream of news, links, ideas and opinion shared by other users.
To make sense of the deluge of information, you can:
- Save keyword searches and hashtags
- Create and subscribe to lists of accounts related to a particular area of study
Social bookmarking and reference managers
These services allow users to share bibliographies or online bookmarks, and follow other users and topics. Some examples: