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Set Up Automated Alerts (E-Alerts) for Databases and E-journals

how to find, connect, use

A number of databases and collections of electronic journals provide an alert feature.  These are automated current awareness services that result, depending on the type of profile or strategy, in table of contents of your chosen journals or a list of individual article citations being e-mailed directly to you.  Alert services are very useful in helping one keep abreast of current developments and publications in one’s subject area(s).

RefAware is a current awareness service which provides alerts and RSS feeds for a variety of research data, covering over 8,000 peer-reviewed sources and other non-refereed sources of information.

Another useful alerting service is provided by Web of Science (Science Citation Index; Social Science Citation Index; Arts & Humanities Citation Index), a database of about 8,500 very prestigious and high impact research journals.

When you have accessed one of the databases or journal collections below, the directions for setting up an alert may be located in an obvious place on the page or search for the instructions on one of the Help pages.  Setting up alerts usually requires free registration. Also, it is always advisable to read the privacy policy before signing up. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the subject specialists.

IMPORTANT: Some databases and collections of journals promote document delivery services that provide you with articles for a fee (sometimes this is quite expensive). However, the article(s) sought may be available to you for free through the Libraries’ subscription to the journal. Moreover, even if the article is not available at BC, it is highly probable that you may obtain a copy of the article very quickly and at no cost through Boston College Libraries Interlibary Loan.

Automated Alerts via RSS

Automated alerts are available via RSS. RSS is a format that allows the content of a website to be syndicated into a news feed. To consolidate RSS feeds (alerts) from multiple resources, you can use a feed aggregator such as Bloglines.

Some examples of journals and databases that have RSS feeds are:

Database and Journal Alerts

ARTbibliographies MODERN
Art Full Text
Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
Bibliography of the History of Art
British Humanities Index

Biosis Previews

Business and Management
Business Source Complete
Regional Business News

Communication Abstracts
Communication and Mass Media Complete


Education Abstracts
Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts
Mental Measurements Yearbook
Physical Education Index

General / Multidisciplinary
Amazon Alerts
Google Alerts
Web of Science (Science Citation Index; Social Science Citation Index; Arts & Humanities Citation Index)


America History and Life
Historical Abstracts

British Humanities Index
MLA Bibliography

Islamic Studies
Index Islamicus

Language and Literature
Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts
MLA Bibliography

Library and Information Science
Library Literature & Information Science

Nursing and Health Sciences
Health and Psychosocial Instruments
MEDLINE (WebSpirs)

Philosopher's Index

Political Science
National Journal Group's Policy Central
PAIS International
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts

Mental Measurements Yearbook

ATLA Religion Database
Catholic Periodical and Literature Index

Social Work
Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA)
Social Services Abstracts
Social Work Abstracts

Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA)
Sociological Abstracts

Physical Education Index
SPORT Discus

Electronic Journals Collections Providing Alerts/TOCs:
Academy of Management
ACM Digital Library Core Package
American Chemical Society Web Editions
American Physical Society
AP Ideal - Academic Press
Baywood Journals
Berkeley Electronic Press Journals
Birkhäuser Verlag AG
Cambridge Journals Online
Canadian Academic Accounting Association
Cell Press
Chemical Society of Japan
Emerald Fulltext (Emerald Fulltext 1999)
Highwire Press
Highwire Press (Free Journals)
Hindawi Publishing
Institute of Physics
IOS Press
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates - LEA Online
M.E. Sharpe Journals
Materials Research Society Journals
Nature Journals Online
Oxford Journals Online
Palgrave Macmillan
Project Muse
Royal Society of Chemistry
ScienceDirect Elsevier Science Journals
Springer Link
Taylor & Francis Journals
Transaction Publishers
University of Chicago Press
Wiley Interscience Journals

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