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Q. How can I keep up with the research in my field?

I would like to:

  • Get updates from specific journals
  • Get periodic search results in my NCBI account
  • Look through weekly tables of contents

Are there resources or tools available that can help me do this?

Answered By: Marijane White
Last Updated: May 18, 2023     Views: 1

There are a lot of tools out there that can help you with this. Here are a few we're familiar with:

For automated periodic searches in NCBI databases, look for the "Create alert" link below the search box on any search results page -- this will allow you to save a search with optional email alerts. You will need to be logged into your NCBI account to set these up. The alert frequency settings are very customizable. There is detailed documentation on how to use these features.

You can use the create alert/saved search features to get updates for when new abstracts from specific journals are added to PubMed. Search for the journal(s) you're interested in at the NLM Catalog, use the PubMed Search Builder to create PubMed searches for the journals by their abbreviated titles, then use the create alert feature to set up the alerts.

If you use RSS, you can also create RSS feeds from PubMed searches. Also, lots of journals publish RSS feeds at their websites. If you use the Zotero citation manager, it can subscribe to journal feeds, which makes it very easy to add new publications to your reference database.

Many library databases have similar features for creating alerts. For example, every source in Scopus has its own page, and for sources that are still in print, you can set a document alert for them, with similar alert frequency customization options as in NCBI/PubMed.

Which of these you use is largely a matter of personal choice -- we recommend experimenting with each one to find out which you like best.

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