Thursday, December 14, 2006

Alerts from Databases

Alerts to New Publications from Your Favorite Databases and Journals

In Graduate School, I was wicked jealous of a post-doc's doctoral days at MIT. Her cognitive science librarian would send her newly published articles to stimulate my friend's scholarly curiosity. The librarian did this not only for my friend, but for the entire faculty and graduate student population of her department

Well, life has changed. The library faculty has shrunk and the number of our liaison departments has grown. At the same time, however, electronic databases and e-journals have stepped in to send you alerts every time a new article is published that you might like.

How does it work? Well, after you decide on the appropriate database and the best search terms, save a search, and then you can have the database run that search for you every so often (usually, you decide the time period). E-journals will usually run the search after each issue is published. In your email, you receive an update or alert about the new articles published after your last search.

So, if you are awaiting the article of your favorite author, you can save an author search. Have the database automatically run it and then email the results to you.

For an explicit example, check out the tutorial about setting up an alert in CSA databases like Sociological Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts or LLBA or the one about setting up an alert in EBSCO databases like PsycINFO, Academic Search Premiere, or GLBT Life Full Text.

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