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Staying Current: keeping up-to-date

Keep up-to-date with new research in your area with journal and book alerts, RSS Feeds, TOC Alerts and Conference Alerts.


In the 21C the work you are producing and publishing can spread further and faster than ever before. It underlines the importance of establishing your own workflows to help you stay current in the areas important to you.

Pace of dissemination

Match the type of issue you'd like to stay current with, with the appropriate resources in this guide.


Within the minute

Social Media & Blogs

Days + weeks

Newspapers, TV & Radio

Week and months

Magazines and popular media



Scholarly journals and conferences

Months + years

Reviews + editorials



Suggested tasks

  1. Set a citation alert for your own publications using Google Scholar, or a citation index tool such as Scopus
  2. Set a Google Scholar author alert for academics in your field
  3. Set a search alert for topics in your field using either a citation index or disciplinary database
  4. Set Table of Contents alerts for journals in your field

Making the most of alerting technologies

To get the best, on-target alert results, refine your search before saving it as an alert.

Speak to a librarian if you get stuck.

Modes of staying current

You can pick which current awarness products you use based on the modes of delivery you prefer, etc. email alerts, RSS feed, newsletters, blog posts, news feeds, etc.

Some tools uses 'Push technology' to deliver updates at regular intervals to your inbox, desktop or reference manager. The advantage of this approach is that users can set and forget. Another technology takes over from here. The disadvantage is the user receives updates at times which could interfere with other tasks in their calendar. An example of tools that uses push technology is the use of search alerts and RSS feeds.

Other tools uses 'Pull technology' and relies on the user to make use of the technology in the user's own time. The advantage of this approach is that users are allowed to use the technology in their own time. The disadvantage is that users are required to set a reminder to do this. An example of tools that uses pull technology is the use of Browzine for journal issue updates.