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Your Thesis: literature, ethics, methods and publishing

Stay up to date with new research

Staying up to date with new research is important. It ensures that you are aware of new trends and developments in your field and any research carried out that may have implications for your research.

However, it's not always practical to spend a lot of time searching for literature after your initial literature review is substantially drafted.  This page will show you how to set and receive RSS or email alerts based on your literature searches.

You are able to set alerts and feeds when:

  • a new item matches your search terms
  • an author publishes
  • a journal releases a new issue
  • an article or author is cited
  • a book of interest is acquired by the library
  • when new funding opportunities become available.

Setting up alerts

Search alerts

Many database platforms allow you to set alerts whenever something new matching your search criteria emerges if you have registered with their service. So before you start, you may need to register with your favourite database and to learn to construct a literature search.

Not all database platforms let you create alerts, so check that you are able to before creating an account.

Setting up a search alert

Different platforms do things a little bit differently, but most have a fair bit in common when it comes to setting up search alerts.

Typically, to set up an alert you’ll need to:

  • Register and sign into the database or platform you wish to receive alerts from
  • Develop an appropriate literature search.  You could search for an author, the name of a serial publication (such as a journal) or on a topic
  • Find and click a button that says 'Save Search' or ‘Save Alerts’ or ‘Create Alerts’ or ‘Manage Alerts’ or something along those lines
  • Most will now ask you how often to send you the alert, what to call it and whether to send it to you via email or RSS
  • Save the alert

Instructions for setting up alerts for popular database platforms

From the results list of your literature search:

Web of Science Click Search History > Save History/ Create Alert Instructions
Scopus Click Set Alert Tutorial
EBSCOhost Select Share > E-mail Alert Instructions
Informit Click SET EMAIL ALERT FOR THIS SEARCH Instructions
PubMed Click Save search, then accept receiving e-mail updates Instructions
Click Save as search alert Instructions, Tutorial
Google Scholar Click Create alert on the left hand-side column Instructions

Citation alerts

A citation alert notifies you whenever an article has been cited by a document that has been newly added to the platform.

You can receive alerts every time an article is cited in Web of Science, Scopus or Google Scholar by setting up citation alerts. You will need to be signed into Web of Science and Scopus to set citation alerts.

Web of Science Access Full Record of the article, select Create Citation Alert, select Done Instructions
Scopus Access Full Record of the article, select Set Citation Alert, fill in the required details, select Save Instructions, Tutorial
Google Scholar Search for the title of the article, select Cited By, Select Create Alert, enter email address, select Create Alert Instructions

Author alerts

You can use Google Scholar, Web of Science, Scopus and Deakin Research Online to alert you whenever an author publishes something new. Scopus and Google Scholar can be used to alert you whenever an author is cited. To receive author alerts, you will need to be signed into Web of Science and Scopus.

Web of Science Core Collection

It is possible to set up alerts for new publications by an author using Web of Science (licensing and resource information):

  • Web of Science Core Collection from the dropdown menu (next to All Databases)
  • Select Author Search from the dropdown menu (next to Basic Search)
  • Enter the author's name, select their Research Domain, select their Organization
  • Select Finish Search
  • Select Create Alert, follow prompts, select Save




It is possible to set up alerts for whenever an author is cited or publishes something new using Scopus (licensing and resource information).

New Publication:

  • Select Author Search
  • Enter the author's last name, first initial, and affiliation (e.g., Deakin University)
  • Select the relevant author profile
  • Select Set document alert

Author Citation:

  • Select Author Search
  • Enter the author's last name, first initial, and affiliation (e.g., Deakin University)
  • Select the relevant author profile
  • Select Get citation alerts

Instructions and Tutorial, produced by Elsevier.


Google Scholar

You are able to set alerts for whenever new publications from a particular author are harvested by Google Scholar. This process is easier and the results more accurate if the author has a Google Scholar profile.

There are two ways that you will be able to identify if an author has a Google Scholar profile:

1) Search the name of the author in Google Scholar (last name, first name or initial), e.g. 'Sinth, J.' If the author has a profile a link to the profile will be displayed at the top of the page.

2) In the results list of any search an author whose name is underlined has a Google Scholar profile.

New Publication:

If the author has a Scholar profile:

  • Open author's profile
  • Select Follow New Articles
  • Enter email
  • Select Create alert

If the author doesn't have a Scholar profile:

  • Select Advanced Scholar Search (see below)

  • Enter author's name in Return articles authored by field. If the author has a common name, it may help to enter additional search terms to differentiate the researcher you wish to follow (see below)

  • Select Create alert

Instructions produced by Google.

Author Citation: 

  • Select Follow New Citations
  • Enter email, select Create alert

N.B. You cannot receive author citation alerts using Google Scholar if an author has not created a Google Scholar profile.

Instructions produced by Google.

Deakin Research Online (DRO)

You can receive an RSS feed whenever a Deakin author's new publication is recorded in DRO:

  • Select Author/Creator from the options below search
  • Enter the author’s last name a first initial and select Search DRO
  • Click RSS feed for this search in the top right hand corner of the window
  • Set up the RSS Feed as described in Setting up an RSS feed in Microsoft Outlook (below)


TOC (Table of Contents) alerts


The following platforms allow you to create alerts when a new book or new journal issue is added to their database. Typically, to set up an alert you’ll need to register and sign into the database or platform you wish to receive alerts from.



JournalTOCs is a free collection of scholarly journal tables of content. It is possible to create alerts which will inform you of the publication of a new issue of a journal.  Please see JournalTOC's help page for assistance with using the product.

Journal Web Pages

Many journals allow you to set an alert if they publish a new issue.  Different journals do things a little bit differently.  Look on the journal's home page for  terms like 'email alerts,' 'notifications' or an RSS feed icon

Please see instructions for setting up an alert for the journal Nature as an example.


You can set up Journal Issue Alerts via the My Alerts option and select your favourite ScienceDirect (licensing and resource information) journals. ScienceDirect will then send you an email contents list when a new issue of the journal is added to the database. Please refer to the ScienceDirect tutorial for further details.


It is possible to set up alerts for new issues of a journal, book series or conference proceedings using Scopus (licensing and resource information).

  • Click Browse Sources
  • Search for the publication title
  • Click on the publication name
  • Click on Follow this source to receive emails when new documents are available in Scopus

Web of Science

It is possible to set up alerts for new issues of a journal using Web of Science (licensing and resource information).

  • Select My Tools > Saved Searches & Alerts
  • Select Journal Alerts tab
  • Select Add Journals
  • Search Full Journal Titles
  • Tick the box under Send Me Table of Contents E-mail Alert
  • Click Submit Selections

EBSCOhost platforms

You can create journal alerts using EBSCOhost platforms, which include the Library Search, Medline Complete (licensing and resource information) and Academic Search Complete (licensing and resource information) amongst others.  Please see EBSCOhost's How to use Journal Alerts for details on setting up a journal alert using an EBSCOhost platform.


Browzine is an online service which notifies you when recent issues of scholarly journals become available. A free Browzine app is available for iPad, iPhone or Android devices. Browzine can also be accessed through web browsers on laptop or desktop computers or Windows tablets. (There is currently no app for Windows tablets.) 

Using Browzine you can:

  • view tables of content from many of your favourite journals, from a personal 'bookshelf'
  • read complete scholarly journals in a format that is optimized for tablet devices
  • receive alerts when new issues of many of your favourite journals are published
  • save articles to Zotero, MendeleyDropbox and other services

When signing in to Browzine, make sure to choose “Deakin University” from the list of libraries so you have access to the journals we subscribe to.

N.B. Not every journal available to you from the Deakin University Library is available for use in Browzine.  To see a full list of journals that the library subscribes to, please see A-Z journals.

Browzine is not designed for comprehensive literature searching. Please see instructions to construct a literature search for further information.

Help for BrowZine Users and FAQs produced by Third Iron.

Please see University of Capetown Library's Get Journal TOC Alerts for more information.


New book alerts


Library new book alert

To receive alerts when Deakin University Library acquires an electronic or print book:

  • Go to the library homepage
  • Under New electronic and print books at the bottom of the page, select View all feeds

  • Search for subject category that you want to create the alert in the alphabetic list,
  • Set up the RSS Feed as described in Setting up an RSS feed in Microsoft Outlook (below)

Setting up an RSS feed in Microsoft Outlook

You can use RSS feeds, rather than emails, to alert you to new content if the webpage or resource you are using supports them.  If a page or resource supports RSS feeds, it will usually display one of the following RSS icons    somewhere on the page. Here's how to set up an RSS feed in Microsoft Outlook.

  • Open your web browser and navigate to the page which allows you to set an RSS feed
  • Right click on the RSS icon  
  • Select Copy shortcut (Internet Explorer) OR Copy link address (Google Chrome) OR Copy link location (Firefox)
  • Open Microsoft Outlook
  • In your Outlook program right click on RSS Feeds then select Add a new RSS Feed

  • Press Ctrl+V to paste the RSS Feed link you copied, select Add

  • Select Yes

For more information see: Add an RSS Feed - Outlook - Office - Microsoft

Setting up alerts for Law journals

The law databases are a bit less user friendly in terms of creating alerts.

Manual set up of alerts is your last option (ie set a calendar alert for when a new issue is scheduled).

For the Gazette of Law and Journalism for example, you will have to check this manually.  They don’t offer the facility to set up an RSS feed on the journal home page and are not indexed in either of the two databases. 

While BrowZine is a great way to receive TOC alerts generally and does have coverage of some international journals, many law journals cannot be accessed this way.  Here are the journals list indexed in Browzine in case there are relevant ones in there for you.

See more on setting up alerts with BrowZine above on this page.

Accessing email alerts when not on campus

If you are not on campus (and hence, outside of Deakin's IP range), you may need to work through the Deakin VPN to access the record or full text items described in email alerts. For more details on available options, see the instructions for establishing a secure (VPN) connection to Deakin using Cisco AnyConnect (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android). Alternatively, you can access the database/platform via the library A-Z Databases and search for the document described in the email.

Non-subscription products, such as PubMed, do not require VPN access.