There are a few major types of current awareness services:
How you set up the alerts will vary depending on the database or web site which provides the alerting service. Keep your eye out for the RSS symbol (pictured right) or the word 'alert'. To receive email alerts you will often be asked to create a free account.
If you do not already use an RSS reader, refer to the Choosing an RSS reader box below.
Many databases allow you to set Saved Search Alerts. This means that any time a new article is added that matches your search criteria you will automatically by updated via email or RSS. You can also be notified of any new publications by a particular author whose work you are following.
To create a saved search alert:
To be notified when a new issue of a relevant journal is released, follow these steps:
Here are two services which can alert you to new books which match your search terms:
If you refine your results to resource type books, you can save a search that will send you alerts for new books in the Library's collection that match your search criteria.
You can use citation alerts to be notified when a relevant paper is cited. Most academic databases do not have the ability to do citation alerts. These are the 3 major ones which do:
If you are not already using an RSS reader, the following options may suit your needs:
Read this article on Life Hacker to find out which RSS reader might be right for you.
Alternatively, if you are using Microsoft Outlook as your email service you can set up RSS feeds within Outlook. The RSS reader will appear underneath the email folders. To add an RSS feed, right click on Add a New RSS Feed: