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DATABASE HELP

Alert Services

Keep up to date on research by using an alert service. An e-mail message will be sent to you when new articles are available matching your search criteria. Alerts can be added, edited, deleted or terminated at any time.

Typically an alert service consists of:

  • Running a search strategy in a periodical index, ex: EBSCO Academic Search
    • By topic
    • By journal title
  • Saving the search strategy in the search history
  • Setting up a personal account with the database vendor (only done once)
  • Setting up the alert by providing your e-mail address, frequency of the alert (daily, weekly, monthly), etc.

The database vendors listed on this page have similar instructions with some variations. View their help screens for specific instructions.

Database Vendor Alert Services

Select a database vendor:

  • EbscoHost (full text available) A good place to start an alert.
    • Subject and periodical title searches can be set up.
    • Basic Search or Advanced Search can be used to set up an alert.
    • Access EbscoHost, click on the Help link located in the upper right of the screen. Scroll down the left column to Saving Searches and Alerts to view specific instructions.
  • ProQuest (full text available)
    • Subject and periodical title searches can be set up.
    • Access ProQuest, click on the Help link located in the upper right of the screen.
    • Type in Alerts in the Search Help Box.
    • A results list will be displayed; select one of the results for instructions on how to set up alerts.
  • Web of Science (citations only, no full text)
    • Subject and periodical title searches can be set up.
    • Access the Web of Science, type in a topic inn the search box(s).
    • Select one or more of the databases to search.
    • Click on the Help link located in the upper right of the screen.
    • Click on the Index link in the upper right of the screen.
    • Scroll down to the Save History/Create Alert option instruction on how to set up an alert.

Tips for Setting Up Alerts

  • Limit the number of alerts that are set up to a few specific subject or periodical title searches. Don't create too many so that it is difficult to keep up with the number of e-mail messages that are received.
  • Try several preliminary searches first to see what kind of results are received. An overly specific search may not generate enough results and one that is too general will provide too many.
  • Try a search for several weeks to see if the results meet your research needs. Modify the search if needed.
  • Select the appropriate database for your research need. For example, EbscoHost's Education Research Complete is a good one for educational topics.