Easy ways to stay current with new research publications

by Vinson Li on 2023-05-15T08:30:00-03:00 | 0 Comments

UPDATED: May 15, 2023. Original Post: May 3, 2018

Do you regularly check for new articles on a specific topic, or review the table of contents in select journals to see what’s new? There are two easy, time-saving ways to do both.

Search Alerts in PubMed®

If you’re interested in a topic, but don’t have time to search for it regularly, you can run a search in PubMed® and then create an alert for it. The alert will send email notifications about new items relevant to your search, so you only have to do the work once.

To create a search alert:

  1. Start at Library Services' Databases A-Z page. Select "P", then select PubMed.
  2. Select the “Log in” button on the top right. If you don’t have a PubMed® account, you can choose one of the other login options. We recommend the ‘Google Account’ option, as it’s easy to set up.
  3. Once you’re logged in, create a search for your topic. For example, if you would like information about heart attacks, enter your search terms and click search. Your search string displays as follows (A):

    ("heart attack"[Title/Abstract] OR "heart attacks"[Title/Abstract] OR "myocardial infarction"[Title/Abstract] OR "myocardial infarctions"[Title/Abstract] OR "cardiovascular stroke"[Title/Abstract]) OR ("Myocardial Infarction"[Mesh])

    If you would like a refresher on creating a search, you can:
  4. Click on 'Create alert' (B) under the 'Search' box at the top. You can specify:
    • The name of your search (C)
    • An email address where alerts should be sent (D)
    • How often email alerts should be sent (E)
    • The maximum number of items you would like included in the alert (F)
    Once you are happy with your selections, select 'Save' (G).

You can also create a search for a specific journal on PubMed®:

  1. From the PubMed® homepage, select ‘Advanced’ (A) under the search box.
  2. Under ‘Add terms to the query box’, select ‘All Fields’, then select ‘Journal’ (B) from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the search box on the right, enter the name of the journal. As you type, suggested titles will pop up below. Select the one you want and click ‘ADD’ to the right. You will see the name of the journal in the “Query box” (C). Select ‘Search’ (D). NOTE The ‘ADD’ button will change into an ‘AND’ button (E).

    If you would like to create one alert for multiple journals, enter the name of the next journal you want, then select the “v” next to the ‘AND’ button (E) and select ‘Add with OR’. Repeat until you have added all the journals you want in your search. When you’re ready, select ‘Search’ (D).
    To create a search alert for a topic, repeat Step 4 from the section above.

Table of Contents Alerts from JournalTOCs

To stay up to date with current papers from your favourite scholarly journal or subject area, you can register for email alerts with JournalTOCs.

  1. Go to JournalTOCs. Select ‘Sign In’ on the top right (A) to log in to your account, or to register for an account if you do not have one.
  2. Once you’ve signed in, you can search for journals by title or ISSN (B). For example, we searched for ‘The Lancet’.
  3. In the search results (C), you may see multiple journals. To follow a journal, select the checkbox next to its title (D).
  4. To turn on your email alerts, select the checkbox next to ‘Email Alerts is Off’ below the journal titles (D).
  5. To change the frequency of your update emails, select your account name in the top-right corner, then select ‘Account Settings’. You can choose the frequency under ‘Email Alerts’.
  6. Select ‘Save’ to confirm your changes.

For more in-depth assistance:

If you have any questions about this information, please reach out to Library Services at AskLibrary@nshealth.ca or book a consultation with a library team member. We will be happy to help you set up alerts specific to your needs.

Vinson Li

Librarian Educator, Patient Education Pamphlets Lead
Yarmouth Regional Hospital, Western Zone

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