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Keep Current with your Research: Using Alerts

Alerts are notifications, through email or a variety of other delivery systems, when materials of interest to you have been published or added to a database, websites, new publications within parameters of previous successful searches, etc.

Other resources for alerts

  1. Open the link to Google Scholar
  2. On the upper left-hand side of the page, click on the icon of 3 horizontal lines
  3. Scroll down to Alerts
    1. You may need to create a free Google account
  4. Tips from Google Scholar about alerts

What are blogs?

Wikipedia by way of Iowa State University:

According to Wikipedia, a blog is "a contraction of the term 'web log' and is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order."

There are many different types of blogs, including: personal blogs, corporate/organization blogs, or subject blogs.

Blogs can be monitored individually, using web browser bookmarks, or aggregated via an RSS newsreader service.

Finding blogs:

You can search for interesting blogs to add to your RSS feed reader by visiting Technorati, Google Blog Search, or Search 4 RSS.

But in all likelihood, the best method to discover RSS feeds is to visit the web sites you routinely visit and look for the RSS icon or some text indicating RSS availability (such as XML Icon).

What is RSS?

Really Simply Syndication (RSS) is a standard web format that allows you to subscribe to web content when new content is available.  RSS allows content to come to you, rather than you visiting a particular web site.  There are many research-related web sites that provide an RSS feed to their content, such as professional organization sites, publisher sites, newspapers, library sites, and blogs.  RSS feeds can include text-based information as well as podcasts (for example, lectures) and vodcasts (for example, YouTube videos).

Unlike email alerts, RSS feeders do not notify you when new content has been added. You need to visit your news reader to keep up-to-date once you have set up your RSS feeds. The advantage is that instead of visiting each webpage individually, you only need to visit your news reader page which pulls together new information from all your feeds in one handy place.

Getting started:

You'll need a news reader before you can subscribe to RSS Feeds. Some news readers can be downloaded to your computer, and others are web-based.

You can download readers through Google, Feedly (both operating systems), Newsify (iOS only) and many news site and other organizations.

Get more from Google Reader

Videos: What are Blogs, RSS Feeds