Keeping up to date

If you are doing a piece of research over a period of weeks or maybe months, you will be aware that new developments will be taking place all the time. It's a good idea to develop techniques for keeping up to date with new publications and research in your subject area.

Alerts services

It is possible to keep up to date by setting up ‘alerts’ that will notify you anything new appears. This could be when a key author in your subject publishes new work, the next issue of a journal is published or simply when more appears on your topic.

Zetoc links into the British Library’s collection of journals and conference proceedings. The big advantage is that all your alerts come via one service, which only requires one password!

Zetoc Alert (Falmouth)
Zetoc Alert (Exeter)

Google Scholar also provides an option to set up alerts.

Many journals enable you to set up alerts too, so you'll automatically receive the table of contents when a new issue is published. Just find the journal home page and look for an alert or table of contents option.

Citation Searching

Most researchers are used to looking through bibliographies of books and articles to see which references the author(s) has consulted for their research. However, that takes you backwards in time. Did you know you can also bring your search forwards in time with citation searching? In other words, finding out which papers or books have cited the work of interest to you since it was published. You can do this in various ways:

  • Google Scholar - click on the Cited by link in the bottom left of any book or article reference of interest.
  • Proquest databases - click on the Cited by link under any reference of interest
  • Web of Science (Exeter only)

Using social media

Traditional scholarly communication can be very slow moving, so researchers often use social media resources to discover and disseminate their research. Tools such as Twitter and blogs offer fast, flexible and free ways of finding out about the latest research, and making connections with other researchers.

With Twitter for example, you can:

  • Network with other researchers and interesting individuals using the 'Follow' option and get involved
  • Keep updated on news and events posted by professional organisations, the government, your institution and various news channels
  • Discover what's being discussed at conferences, talks and events by following 'Hashtags' (#)

You can save up to 25 searches on Twitter. To save a search, then click on the cog icon on the top right-hand-corner and click on 'Save search'.

Take a look at our current awareness Sway presentation

Introduction to current awareness