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Current awareness resources

Liaison librarian

  • pamela [dot] harrison [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-6272

Current awareness resources can alert you to the latest information, keeping you informed and saving you time. You can receive alerts by email, using your RSS feeder, or through other tools such as social media. If you need help or have questions, contact your liaison librarian.

Get email alerts 

Table of Contents alerts  |  Citation alerts  |  Subject alerts

Table of Contents (TOC) alerts

This type of alert is best when you want to see all of the articles published in a particular journal or particular set of journals. To sign up for TOC alerts for individual journal titles, visit the journal webpage and create an account. You can then set up the alerts for your chosen journals.

Examples of Life Sciences journal titles:

(Note: all require you to create a user account)

You can also sign up for TOC alerts through the journal publisher's website. Many publishers publish more than one journal, so you can receive table of contents for many journals with just one account. The links to many major biomedical journal publishers are included below.

Examples of biomedical journal publishers:

Citation alerts

Web of Science and Google Scholar can track articles, and send you alerts when they are cited by new publications. This is a great way to follow emerging scholarly exchange on topics that interest you. Before creating the alert, you will need to create an account.

Web of Science

  • In Web of Science, log in to your ISI Web of Knowledge Account. 
  • Locate the article that you want to track, and click on the title. Web of Science will take you to the full record page.
  • Click the "Create citation alert" button with the bell icon on the right side of the screen. You will go to the Citation Alerts Save Confirmation page.
  • Note: the alert expires in one year.

Google Scholar

  • Log in to your Google account.
  • In Google Scholar, locate the article that you want to track. (Search by placing the exact title in quotation marks.)
  • Click the "Cited by" option underneath the article. Scholar will take you to a page listing works that have cited your article.
  • Click the "Create alert" link with the envelope icon on the lower left hand side of the screen. Enter your email address, and select the number of results you wish to receive. 
  • Click "Create alert."

Subject alerts

You can receive an email alerting you to new articles that match your specific subject criteria. For general medical subjects, you can use a service called Amedeo.

For more specific searches, you can create a search in a database and have the database send you an email when new articles that match your search are included in the database. This type of alert is best when you have a very specific set of criteria or want to search across a wide range of journals. Each database works a bit differently, and you will have to sign up for an account for each one.

The following biomedical databases allow you to set up subject alerts:

Setting up email alerts in Ovid databases

  • Sign in to your account and conduct your search.
  • Click on the "Save search history" button underneath the search history.
  • Give your search a name and choose "AutoAlert (SDI)" from the dropdown menu. A list of options will appear.
  • Choose the frequency of the email. The default setting will send the alert if new material appears when the database is updated (the frequency varies by database).
  • Enter your email address. You can change other options if you'd like, or leave them on the default settings.
  • Click the "save" button.​

Setting up email alerts in PubMed

Before setting up email alerts in PubMed, you must sign up for a free accountInformation on creating email alerts can be found on this help pageRSS feed alertsTo receive  can receive publication and subject alerts via RSS (or Really Simple Syndication)

Get RSS Feeds

You can receive subject alerts and new publication alerts as RSS Feeds. RSS (or Rich Site Summary) Feeds allow you to stay on top of frequenetly published information. The feed provides an overview of new content, and is available from databasesindividual journal titles, and publishers. You can view your selected feed(s) by email, or using an RSS Feed aggregator like FeedReader

Medworm is an excellent resource for finding news feeds by topic in Medicine.

Biomedical databases with RSS feeds

Subscribing to RSS feeds from databases can be tricky, so the following help pages should make it a bit easier.

Some individual journal titles with RSS Feeds

RSS feeds from journal publishers

Usually you do not need to create an account for RSS feeds. Search for journal titles at these publisher websites. On each journal's home page, look for the RSS feed symbol to subscribe.

Setting up RSS feed alerts alerts in Ovid databases

  1. Sign in to your account and conduct your search.
  2. Click on the orange RSS button at the bottom of your search history. A small window will appear. Uncheck the box and click "save".
  3. A new window will open. Give your search a name and choose the frequency of your updates. Click on "Save"
  4. A red box will appear at the top of a new screen. Click on the link that appears next to the orange RSS symbol. Choose your feed reader. Click the subscribe button and follow the instructions for your particular reader.

Setting up alerts in PubMed

Before setting up email alerts in PubMed, you must sign up for a free accountwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/account/

RSS feeds do not require an account.

Information on creating email alerts and RSS feeds can be found on this help pagewww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3827/#pubmedhelp.Saving_and_Emailing_

Information on creating email alerts and RSS feeds can be found on this help page. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3827/#pubmedhelp.Saving_and_Emailing_


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