Keeping up to date with the latest research

Site: QMplus - The Online Learning Environment of Queen Mary University of London
Module: RDF: Information Literacy Skills for Researchers
Book: Keeping up to date with the latest research
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Tuesday, 16 April 2024, 6:12 PM


Draft text.

1. Introduction to Keeping up to Date With the Latest Research

This section covers  methods of keeping up to date with the latest research in your subject area. The method of delivery is a mixture of text and web links.

Q for uestionSo, you've done a literature search, but this shows you only what has been researched so far. 

How will you keep up to date with new literature in the field over the course of your career as a researcher? 

Do you have any methods for finding out about new research? 

Perhaps you hear from your advisor, or a fellow researcher? 

Or you see an item in the news?

A for answerThese are perfectly valid methods for finding out about new research, but did you know that you can set up alerts to have details of new research sent to you via e-mail or RSS? 

With very little effort, you can set up alerts to the latest literature on a research topic, the latest issues of key journals in your field as well as research funding alerts.

2. Publication Alerts - Databases

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                             Photo by Alexa_Fotos, Pixabay


Many databases allow you to save searches and repeat them automatically at regular intervals or whenever the database is updated with new records. These are known as Alerts. Please note, this feature is not available for all databases - for some you will need to rerun your previous search. It is always good practice to note down your search terms so you can easily remember them for next time.

  • EBSCO databases

    America: History & Life
    Academic Search Complete
    Business Source Complete
    Education Research Complete

    Historical Abstracts
    Index to Legal Periodicals and Books
    MLA Bibliography
    PsycArticles, PsycBooks, PsycLit

Create a My EBSCO Host personal profile and save searches as alerts and/or be alerted to new journal issues in your personal folder. Results can be automatically emailed and RSS feeds are also supported. Click here for instructions on saving searches and alerts.
  • Emerald
    Full-text coverage of over 150 titles in the fields of management, information science and engineering. Create a personal profile to save search alerts and table of contents alerts. Click here to create a profile and manage alerts.
  • IEEE Xplore Alerts Manager
    Users who are signed in with their IEEE Account can choose to receive regular notification of recently posted content, including a direct link to the table of contents for the latest issue of a journal or magazine.


    Create a free MyJSTOR account and receive email alerts for saved searches, tracked journals (eTOC) and tracked citations.

  • Project Muse
    Content alerts provide updates for book and journal content important to your research, via RSS feeds and email notifications.

  • Proquest databases

    ABI Inform
    International Index to the Performing Arts
    RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

    Create a My Research account and save searches as alerts. Results can be automatically emailed and RSS feeds are also supported. Look for the My Research link at the top of the page to create an account and set up alerts.
    Use alerts to receive email notices when new documents are loaded on Scopus.

  • Web of Science
    Use this database to save and repeat your searches and produce Alerts. You can also set up Citation Alerts. This service will alert you by email to references that cite a paper you are interested in.

Note: Lexis and Westlaw have their own current awareness services only available within the databases.

3. Publication Alerts - Publishers' Websites

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                      Photo by Michael Jarmoluk, Pixabay

Register for alerting services at the publisher’s website and they will send you email notification every time a new journal issue is published.

Publishers with free alerting services include:

4. Other Current Awareness Services

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                     Photo by Mebel Amber, Pixabay

Other current awareness services include:

  • Journal TOCs
    A free scholarly journal tables of contents (TOCs) service that allows you to search journal TOC RSS feeds by title, subject or publisher, select and view TOCs from your search results, export citations or link to full text and save your TOCs in your own account or export them to a feed reader of your choice.
  • CiteUlike
    Aims to promote and to develop the sharing of scientific references amongst researchers. CiteULike is social bookmarking for research papers. It enables you to easily store references online, share them in groups and discover new ones.

  • Conference Alerts
    Automatically receive email notification of new conferences in your area of research.
    A service designed specifically for the FE and HE research communities to enable groups of academics and support staff to communicate and to share information and ideas.

  • Patent Alerts
    This email alerting service provides alerts to new patents in the areas of research interest you select.

5. Funding Alerts and Sources of Research Funding


                           Photo by Mabel Amber, Pixabay

A selection of research councils and services providing research funding and funding alerts:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
    The AHRC offers postgraduate and research funding opportunities which include opportunities in knowledge exchange, partnerships and international research.

  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
    Bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public.

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
    The UK's leading research funding and training agency addressing economic and social concerns. ESRC aims to provide high-quality research on issues of importance to business, the public sector and government.

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
    EPSRC funds research and postgraduate training in engineering and the physical sciences at universities and other organisations throughout the UK.

  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
    The Medical Research Council is a publicly funded organisation dedicated to improving human health.

  • Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA)
    MHRA is an international organisation and registered charity which promotes and supports research in the field of Modern Humanities. One of the ways it supports research in this area is by providing a number of funding opportunities.

  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
    NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences.

  • NHS Health Technology Assessment Programme
    The HTA programme produces independent research into the effectiveness of different healthcare treatments and tests for those who use, manage and provide care in the NHS.

  • Research Professional
    A searchable online platform providing access to news about research funding and a range of funding services.

  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
    The STFC is a UK government body that carries out civil research in science and engineering, and funds UK research in areas including particle physics, nuclear physics, space science and astronomy

  • Wellcome Trust
    The Wellcome Trust supports research in biomedical science and the medical humanities with the aim of improving human and animal health. The Trust offers a wide variety of funding schemes, including investigator awards, fellowships and strategic awards, and also supports several major initiatives.

6. Institutional Repositories

Institutional Repositories

An institutional repository is an online location for collecting, preserving and disseminating - in digital form - the intellectual output of an institution, particularly a research institution. Repositories typically include materials such as research journal articles, before (pre-prints) and after (post-prints) undergoing peer review, and digital versions of theses and dissertations. Therefore, institutional repositories are a valuable source for keeping up to date with the latest developments in any research field across the globe.

With the development of open access publishing, institutional repositories are becoming increasingly important to the international research community. New meta search tools have been thereby developed to enable researchers to retrieve innovative research output on a worldwide scale.

OpenDOAR is a global directory of academic open access repositories. The directory can be searched by repository name or browsed by geographic area.

CORE (COnnecting REpositories) is a search tool that aggregates all content published in institutional repositories and open access journals. 

Queen Mary Research Online stores all research output produced at QMUL. All content in QMRO is open access. For further information and support on QMRO, please contact the Repository and Research Information Team.