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Alerts for Academic Use: Home

This guide is an informational tool on setting up notifications that alert individuals to information relevant to their interests.

What do we mean by "Alerts"

An "Alert" refers to the notification of an addition (publication, update, new information, etc.) as it appears in a database, e-journal, website, or some other source.


The concept of an Alert is to have an effective and efficient means of staying up-to-date on information on specific topics relevant to one's field of study. In the simplest terms, setting up an Alert will allow information from a variety of sources to congregate in one, easy to manage location. In doing so, the user is made instantly aware of any new information that is made available through a multitude of sources (publishers, databases, websites, etc.).

By doing so the user can streamline the process of searching for new information, allowing them to reap all of the benefits of the new information without tediously searching through each individually & repetitiously.

This Research Guide is meant to help users understand, create, and manage their own Academic Alerts so that they will be able to quickly review any updates on information relevant to their interests.

Types of Alerts

There are a variety of different Alerts that can be utilized for academia or your unique interest(s). Each one is meant to keep you up-to-date on new information as it appears in your selected sources.

The frequency of alerts will differ depending on either the source or your personal update settings.

Alerts can come through:

  • RSS Feeds - Which require a specialize program called a Reader (which can be downloadable, or web-based) in order to access and view.


  • E-Mail - Requires that you subscribe to a journal, database, or website that will notify you through e-mail when new information is made available.

And can include:

  • Saved Searches - In which the topic or search query you entered is saved and alerts are sent to you when new items are added to that database.
  • Social Media - Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.
  • Table of Content Alerts - Notifications sent when new issues are added to journals/ e-journals.
  • Web Page - Changes made to a specific Web page or Website.

Need Help Setting Up An Alert?

You can contact your department's Library Liaisons for assistance in setting up or managing alerts!

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