Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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.

Different types of alerts

Alerts helps you stay up-to-date with current research relevant to your topic. You can set them to notify you by e-mail or RSS feed when new articles are added matching the key terms you have specified. 


Search alerts

Citation alerts

Table of contents alerts

To get started follow these general steps.

  • Register or set up an account with the database provider. These are free and typically involve creating a username, a password and providing an email address. Remember these details for accessing saved searches and modifying alerts. 
  • If you wish to receive alerts from more than one database provider, e.g. Scopus (Elsevier) and Web of Science (Thomson Reuters) you need to create separate accounts. Only a single account is required for creating alerts in multiple databases from the same company, e.g. Ebsco provides access to Discovery and several specialist databases.
  • Find instructional videos and other resources to help you make use of these services in the tutorial resources page of the Staying Current subject guide.

Search Alerts

Alerting services in databases can help you save searches for later reuse. The alert automatically searches the database for the latest records matching your saved searches. The database then sends you updated results for the search by e-mail or RSS feed. 

Different databases follows different procedures for setting up search alerts, but the general principles are similar. Alerts are usually set up from a database Search History or equivalent after the user has signed in using their profile/account details. 

Getting started:

  1. Conduct a search using relevant search term/s and limits  

  2. Save the search as an alert. You will be prompted to sign-in or register (see box above)

  3. Name the alert and select alert option (e.g. email alert)

  4. Choose alert notification frequency (e.g. receive weekly or monthly alerts)

Most database platforms provides helpful step-by-step tutorials or instructions for saving searches and setting up search alerts. 

Scopus search alerts

  1. Navigate (right-click the link and open in a new tab - not to lose these instructions) to Scopus
  2. Enter a 'documents' search by 'ISSN' or by 'Source title'
  3. Click 'Search' to find the result on the screen, and then click 'Set alert'. Make sure the settings are adjusted to your need, before setting the alert. ('Monthly' frequency is often most useful). 
  4. As content for this publication is updated in Scopus, you will receive alerts from Scopus sent to your email client linked to this email address.

Citation alerts

A citation alert notifies you by email whenever a publication (e.g. journal article) you have chosen has been cited by a new publication that has been added to the database. 

Although different databases will have different procedures for setting search alerts, the general principles are same. You must:

  1. Locate the record of the article you want to add as a citation alert
  2. Create Citation Alert for the specified article

Most database providers provides step-by-step instructions for saving searches and setting up search alerts.

Scopus citation alerts

  1. Navigate (right-click the link and open in a new tab - not to lose these instructions) to Scopus
  2. Enter a 'documents' search by 'ISSN' or by 'Source title'
  3. Click 'Search' to find the result on the screen, and then click 'Set alert'. Make sure the settings are adjusted to your need, before setting the alert. ('Monthly' frequency is often most useful). 
  4. As content for this publication is updated in Scopus, you will receive alerts from Scopus sent to your email client linked to this email address.

Table of content alerts

Table of Contents Alerts generates automatic notifications to let users know that a journal has published a new issue.

Stay up to date with journals of interest with Table of Contents Alerts (TOC) in your email client or by using RSS feeds.

Some tools provide easier to manage and more time-saving features (such as offering comprehensive cover for most of the scholarly journals that you may have targeted or allowing you to collect the listing of new issues and articles in one central place).

It is worth investing time first to compare which route to a specific journal's current awareness information is most optimal to your needs and workflows.

Table of Contents alerting services

These services and features offer comprehensive scholarly coverage. Check that the journal that you'd like to follow is covered by any one of these applications.


Steps to setting a Browzine account


  1. Start from the library’s A-Z eJournals and Databases page
  2. Click ‘Connect to Browzine’ right below Browse eJournals via Browzine
  3. Click on the cog at the right of the page to setup your account under settings
  4. Under Browzine Account (Loging to Browzine) click ‘login’ to create a personalised account
  5. Click on Sign up to create a new personalised account
  6. This will allow you to get started and to be able to sync your various devises
  7. From here on you will be able to save Journals to your Bookshelf (maximum of 16 titles) and mark articles to store in ‘my articles’
  8. You can also link your Mendeley account or your Zotero account with Browzine
  9. You can access/ create different Browzine accounts based on other libraries that you visit by clicking ‘Change library’

Steps to setting Browzine up on your iPad


  1. Go to the App Store and search for Browzine to download the app for your iPad
  2. Open the Browzine app and search for University of Melbourne on the libraries list
  3. Login with you UniMelb username and your UniMelb password
  4. Wait for Browzine to build your bookshelf
  5. Click on ‘My Bookshelf’ or ‘My articles’ to see your previously saved Journals or Articles.

Current Contents Connect (Clarivate Analytics)

Current Contents Connect provides complete tables of content and bibliographic information from the world’s leading scholarly journals and books.

Getting started

Steps to set up journal alerts in Current Contents Connect (Clarivate Analytics, previously Thomson Reuters and also ISI)

  1. Access Current Contents Connect via the A-Z eJournals and Databases link -

  2. From the ‘Sign in’ button at the top of the page ‘sign in’ (if you have a Clarivate Analytics, previously ISI, account) – if not ‘Register’ first to create one

  3. Below that, from the ‘My tools’ button, select ‘Saved Searches & Alerts’ - click to see image

  4. Click on ‘Journal Alerts’ in the centre of the three tabs

  5. Click ‘Add Journals’ to the top right of the page

  6. ‘Find’ a journal based on the first words of the exact journal title, e.g. ‘educational researcher’

  7. Tick ‘Display on home page’ and tick ‘Send me Table of Contents E-mail Alert’

  8. Click ‘Submit selections’

  9. The email address registered in you Clarivate Analytics account(profile) will be the send-to address

  10. Optionally you can create a RSS feed. That will only work in a program such as Outlook or Zotero once you have deleted the following string from the RSS URL: - ‘’

Journal TOC

JournalTOCs is a Current Awareness Service (CAS). You can discover the most current papers coming directly from the publishers as soon as they have been published online. JournalTOCs if for researchers, librarians, students and anyone who's looking for these current international scholarly literature.

It provides the largest searchable collection of scholarly journal Tables of Contents (TOC). Article metadata is available for over 31 650 journals from over 3 138 publishers. Special care has been taken to include the highest rated journals in their fields. 

A single 'one-stop-shop' interface is provided to all these journals. With the free version of the service you could get updates for a maximum of 20 journals.

JournalTOCs is a spin-out of the JournalTOCs-API Project, funded by the JISC Rapid Innovation Grants in 2009, based at the School of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Heriot-Watt University.

Stay up-to-date with JournalTOCs developments at

Getting started

  1. Visit JournalTOCs
  2. Click 'Sign in' - to create a new profile and 'Sign up'
  3. Provide your (1) email address and (2) password (include a numerical and alphabetical character - at least 6 characters) and (3) confirm the password
  4. Click 'sign up'
  5. For users with an existing account - 'Sign in'

An account allow you to get

  • access to the journals you have followed
  • alerts when the followed journals publishes new issues
  • saving and exporting ability of articles
  • ability to save searches and create email alerts as well as RSS feeds based on the saved searches

Adding Journal RSS feeds

A journal RSS feed is a file that publishers put on their website. Normally, it contains the abstracts of the articles published in the most recent issue of the journal.

A journal RSS feed is written using the DC, PRISM and CC standard metadata formats that have been widely adopted across the scholarly publishing industry. The publisher automatically updates the content of the RSS feed when the journal publishes a new issue with added articles.

RSS readers and services such as Journal TOCs use journal RSS feeds to automatically collect the new articles from different journals in one place, eliminating the need to check each publisher's website for updates.

Further information about this can be found here:

Saving a JournalTOC OPML file

  1. Sign into your JournalTOCs profile
  2. Click 'Followed journals' below Account Settings
  3. Click 'Save & Export -(You can export the list of your journals to any RSS reader that supports the OPML file format. -An OPML file is a text XML file you can use to export your favourite journals all at once to your preferred RSS reader such as NewsBlur, Digg Reader, Feedly or Bloglines.) We suggest using Zotero.
  4. Save your file in your local disk (the file is named by default to mytocs.opml)


Journal RSS feeds via Zotero

Getting started - Zotero & RSS feeds

  1. Download Zotero (desktop) for your computer if you are a new user
  2. Next set up your Zotero desktop client
    • Click 'Edit' in the menu bar > Preferences >Sync and link your previously created Zotero (cloudbased) account

You are now well prepared to start setting up your RSS feeds in Zotero.


Adding RSS feed OPML files in Zotero

  1. Click on the Brown Folder in the Zotero menu to add Feed, from OPML
  2. Locate the mytocs.opml file from the saved location in your local disk
  3. Open
  4. All the journals contained in your followed journals JournalTOCs will now be added

Adding individual journal feeds

  1. Go to 'New feed' >'From URL' (located in the brown folder - (Add new collection) drop-down
  2. Paste the RSS feed link (which you have saved by clicking on a journal RSS feed button on a journal's homepage) into the resulting URL-box
  3. If the link format is correct - the 'Title' field box below the 'URL' field box in the 'Feed settings' box will be auto-completed now
    • TIP: If this do not happen now you may need to remove the ezyproxy details from the link by backspacing on the following text before the first back-slash ''
    • It then should activate the auto-complete function
  4. After clicking 'save', the RSS feed will appear at the bottom of the left pane of the Zotero window, below My Library and your Group Libraries and above the tag selector
  5. The feeds can be accessed from here
  6. When you open an article from one of the feeds, you can add it to one of your library collections (set up inside your Zoteror collection folders)
  7. You can select which articles you want to move in this way from the feed to your Zotero collection. You end up only with those items that you wanted to keep.
  8. Save the item to your Zotero library by clicking on the “Save to My Library” button or pressing Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-S. You can save a feed item to a group library by clicking the dropdown arrow on the right side of the “Save to My Library” button and choosing the group library.

Further detailed information is provided at


Downloading the JournalTOC OPML file

Connect the feeds for the journals you are following in JournalTOCs with these easy steps.

  1. Login to your JournalTOCs account
  2. Access your profile > Followed journals
  3. Make sure all the journals you'd like to include are ticked
  4. Click 'Save & export'
  5. Save 'Journaltocs.opml' file to your hard drive
  6. Open Zotero desktop
  7. Click 'New feed' > 'From OPML...'
  8. Find the 'Journaltocs.opml' in its hard drive location and Open
  9. All the journals that you have followed in JournalTOCs will now send feeds as they become available to your Zotero Feeds Folder
  10. You need to move references to respective Zotero reference collections yourself