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London Metropolitan University

Research Matters: Current Awareness

Research Matters

Alert services

JournalTOCs is a tool which you can use to set up email alerts for new issues of specific journals. This site currently contains Tables of Contents for just over 36,000 titles, including nearly 18,000 Open Access publications. 

Many of the databases to which the Library subscribes have alert services enabling you to receive an email when new items matching your keywords become available. It is usually necessary to set up a (free) personal sign-in, additional to your London Met login, before setting up an alert. This can be a good way of helping yourself to maintain an awareness of what new research is being published in your area of interest or as an initial scoping exercise for your research topic.

Ebsco collection of databases includes the following:

and more.......

You can search more than one Ebsco database collection at the same time. It is especially useful if your area of research crosses over to other subject areas. Ebsco can also display abstracts of articles available on other databases such as Science Direct, Wiley, Taylor & Francis and other library holdings by referring you back to the Library Catalogue. For this reason it is useful to set up specific search alerts and your chosen results can be saved to your folder. Note: you will need to set up your own login and Id to access your folders on Ebsco. See the Help area on Academic Search Complete or any other Ebsco collection.


Google Scholar also offers alerting options for new citations. The one-minute video below demonstrates how to set this up. 

RSS feeds

RSS feeds allow you to see new content updates on websites without needing to go to the website itself. Most internet browsers have an RSS extension which can be installed, or you can use a RSS reader such as Feedly

With the the growth of social media, RSS feeds may not be as popular as they were a few years ago, but they can still be a helpful way to keep an eye on updates to webpages of interest.

Other ways to stay up to date

Social media isn't just for selfies and photographs of your dinner; it can be a valuable tool for connecting with researchers and academics in your area of interest. Many are active on Twitter and/or have personal blogs where they will share details of what they are working on and other items being published in that area. If you're an active user yourself then Twitter in particular can provide a platform on which to make connections and become part of an online community of researchers (as always, do be conscious of how you present yourself and what you say on social media; once something is out there on the web, it is very difficult to make it go away).