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Subject Guides

Genetics: Keeping up with research

Getting alerts

Although they should not be relied on entirely to keep you up-to-date, alerts serve as useful reminders, and save you having to continually repeat the same search. For a busy scientist they are an absolute necessity. They are usually easy to set up, and can be sent to you in a variety of ways. You often need to amend your search terms after the first few results are delivered, in order to control what you are being fed.

A bonus in getting alerts, if you get them from different databases, is that you can find out which database best fits your subject or search terms, or sends alerts to you earliest.

You can get alerts sent to you for a variety of types of new development, for example:

  • Subject alerts [this can include quite complicated combinations of search terms]
  • When a paper of particular interest to you is cited by another one - citation alerts
  • Contents pages of important journals

You can get alerts sent to you from:

  • Major reference databases such as PubMed [via MyNCBI or PubCrawler], Web of Science, Scopus etc
  • Google Scholar [but it is hard to control the precision of the content you are sent]
  • Publisher websites can usually send alerts for contents pages, subject, or author, which you can narrow down to a specific journal
  • Contents pages services such as Zetoc
  • Major publishers often use Twitter to promote top papers, and you can also often get feeds of suggested or trending papers from their websites