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This guide explains how to set up email and RSS alerts from databases, search engines, and journals so you can stay current on the literature in your field.
Last Updated: Apr 21, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Staying Current

Do you ever feel like you're falling behind the literature or missing new articles in your field? Are you tired of repeating the same searches over and over again in PubMed or Web of Knowledge? By using the email and RSS alerting capabilities built into databases, search engines, and e-journals, you can save a lot of time and avoid missing key new publications

Use the tabs above to find alert set-up instructions by resource. Also, if you would like a Talbot Librarian to set up an alert for you, please fill our our search request form, and indicate that you would like to receive current awareness alerts.


Email or RSS

Most literature alerting systems support either email alerts or RSS. One is not necessarily better than the other, so choosing between RSS and email alerting should be based on your own needs and preferences. Here is a brief list of pros and cons for both:


  • Pro: New articles will be sent directly to your inbox on a set schedule.
  • >Pro: Easy to set up.
  • Con: Usually only one email account can be used per search.
  • Con: If you already receive too many emails, email alerts may get lost or bounce.


  • Pro: Alerts can be embedded in Outlook or any RSS reader.
  • Pro: You can receive new articles outside your overcrowded inbox.
  • Pro: RSS alerts can be shared with multiple users.
  • Con: Not everyone knows or understands RSS feeds.

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