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Research Guide for Graduate Science Students

intro to library/info research resources for Hunter College graduate science students

Types of Alerting Services

Table of Contents Alerts (TOC)

A table of contents alert service emails you a table of contents when a new issue of a specified journal is published.


Search Alert

A search alert notifies you (either through email or a RSS feed) when new articles matching a customized search are found. You can specify how frequently you'd like to received search alert notifications, either daily, weekly, or monthly depending on the publisher's database updates.


Citation Alert

A citation alert emails you each time an article you selected is cited in a new publication.

Creating Alerts

Feel like your colleagues always hear about the latest paper before you do? Want to view your favorite journal's table of contents from the comfort of your home or office? Here's a way to stay current in your field with minimal time on your part.

Alert services are available through many of Hunter College Libraries databases, which will notify you of new publications or table of contents from a specific journal matching your research interests. These services automatically send email notifications of new citations and some are even offered as RSS feeds. Alert services vary by name (alert, autoalert, saved search history, SDI, etc.), but most operate in the same way.

Follow these simple steps for most of our major databases available at USU and then just sit back and wait for your customized searches to start returning results! Free registration is usually required.

Alerts Available in E-Mail & RSS feeds

E-mail alert services are the most common form of delivery for most databases and journals.


RSS feeds are also used to deliver alerts. RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" or "Rich Site Summary" and it delivers content to a feed reader as an XML file. You can subscribe to a RSS feed with a “feed reader” or “news aggregator.” A variety of free readers are available, some are web-based such as Bloglines or Google Reader and others have to be downloaded to your computer.


RSS feeds are linked to the following icons or buttons: screen shot of RSS icon or screen shot of RSS icon or screen shot of xml icon


RSS in Plain English

great video about RSS from Common Craft.

How do I install a feed reader?

Bloglines example: subscribing to a RSS feed

  1. Register for a free account with Bloglines (requires email, password)
  2. Once you register, check your email for a Bloglines validation email and follow the instructions
  3. Under the "My Feeds" tab, click the "Add" link
  4. Enter the website address of the RSS feed