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This is the primary research guide for Gerontology students and faculty

Quick Tutorial Videos

Database Alerts & RSS Feeds

Many Library databases provide the ability to create alerts for content related to your research topic. Depending on the database's service, an alert can provide the table of contents to new issues of journals or a list of new articles based on search terms. Some databases even offer citation alerts, to inform you when a particular article has been cited. Setting up database alerts is a great way to find articles related to those which you have already included in your research. Additionally, it will help you to stay up to date with the latest research and trends in your discipline.

When you set up a search alert, the database automatically runs your search and sends you any search results added since the last time the search was run. You can set searches to run once a day, once a week, or less often.

Most alerts are provided by e-mail or RSS feed. Therefore, you will need to create individual database accounts in order to set up alerts, and in some cases have an RSS Reader account. 

Instructions for Library Database Alerts

You may create and schedule alerts to deliver new documents matching your search as they become available in ProQuest. Note: Content from the ebrary e-books database will not be included in alert emails or RSS delivery at this time. 

You will need to create a ProQuest My Research account to modify, delete, or view all of your alerts. Detailed instructions for each type of ProQuest alert appear below.

After you run a search, you can save it to your My Research account. Your saved searches are listed on the Searches tab in My Research. Your searches are listed in descending order, meaning your most recent saved search is at the top and your oldest saved search at the bottom.

To save a search to My Research:

  1. Click the Save search link above your results list, or on the Actions menu corresponding to the search on the Recent Searches page.
  2. Save the search to your My Research account.
    You’re prompted to sign into your account if necessary.
  3. Provide a required name for the search. Enter optional notes.
  4. Click Save.

ProQuest Publication alerts

Provides a way for you to find specific publications, such as newspapers or magazines, and browse individual issues. When you browse or search for a publication, and it’s available, you can click the publication title to display a page that provides details about that publication.

Click the Create alert link to define your publication alert details. After responding to an email from ProQuest to confirm the email address you provided, your alert is activated.

For more information on creating and managing your My Research account saved searches and alerts, see the link below.

PubMed allows you to subscribe to the PubMed New and Noteworthy RSS feed. To do so, click on the link as shown below.

Save Searches

Finally, you may save, automate your searches and have the results E-mailed to you through a free MyNCBI account. Follow the instructions below for saving searches and setting up email alerts.

  1. Click on Sign in to NCBI at the top right of the screen.
  2. Sign In to use an existing account or click on Register for an account to establish a new account.
  3. Perform the search to be saved or updated regularly in the database of interest.
  4. Click the Save Search search link that appears near the top of the search results page.
  5. In MyNCBI save the search and choose the settings for automated E-mail updates. These settings can be modified at any time by accessing the MyNCBI account.



You may either set up a journal alert to be notified when new issues of a particular journal are published, or you may set up a search alert from a search screen. See the links below to learn more about how to set up these types of alerts.

Journal Alert:

1. Along top menu bar, select "Publications"
2. Search by title or topic
3. Locate desired title, click on orange RSS icon

4. For email alerts, input your email and save or copy RSS link to a RSS feed reader of your choice.


Search Alert:

1.  On the search results page open "Share" menu
2. Create email alert or subscribe to RSS feed alerts


SAGE Journals

You must create an individual account in order to setup SAGE alerts, save searches and save journals. Once you have signed in, click on the My Tools tab and then Add/edit/delete email alerts, as shown below.

The following types of Email Alerts are available for most SAGE journals:

  • TOC: Full Table of Contents alerts will send you a listing of all articles within an issue, with links to the abstracts.
  • TOC Awareness: Table of Contents Awareness Alerts will send you a link to the complete TOC online (will not include a list of articles within the alert itself).
  • Announcements: Announcement Alerts will keep you up to date with special journal news or related events.
  • OnlineFirst: OnlineFirst Alerts notify you of new articles published ahead of print. You will receive alerts as each OnlineFirst article is posted online.


SAGE Knowledge/Navigator/Research Methods & Videos

Save searches and create lists that contain SAGE Knowledge, Navigator, Research Methods & Video content. You will first need to login to your Profile account and/or sign up for a new account to save searches and create lists. 

Save Content and Create Lists

Once logged in, browse or search for content. Click the icon as shown below to save the item to a list that you create. If you do not yet have any lists, you will be promoted to create one before you can save your content item. 

Save Searches

To save your searches, simply conduct a search using the basic or advanced search boxes, then on the search results page, click the floppy disc icon as shown in the image below: 



NOTE: creating this Profile account  is valid for SAGE Knowledge, Navigator, Research Methods and Videos. You will need to create a different account for SAGE Journals. 


You must create an individual account in order setup ScienceDirect alerts. To do so, click the link to Sign In at the top of the screen, and then click Not Registered? to create your account. Once you have signed in, click the plus sign (+) next to your name and then Manage my alerts, as shown below.

A description of the various types of ScienceDirect alerts also appears below.


  • Search alerts notify you by email when new documents matching your search criteria become available online. 
  • Topic alerts are predefined searches on a specific topic, such as inorganic chemistry. Topic alerts notify you by email when new documents on a particular topic are available. 
  • Journal and book-series alerts notify you by email when a new issue of a particular journal or a new book volume becomes available. 

For further information on ScienceDirect alerts, including a tutorial video, please see links below.


SpringerLink allows you subscribe to search results via RSS feed. To do so, simply click on the RSS icon on the search results screen, as shown below.

TOC Alerts

You may also set up Table of Contents alerts for specific Springer journals. To do so, locate the journal that you are interested in and then click on the links to Stay up to Date, as shown below. 

Select Register for journal updates and on the next page look for the box that allows you to enter your email address: 

Register for a personal account in order to setup Publication Alerts, Topic Alerts, and Content Alerts. Click Sign In at the top of the screen and then click Register Now. After logging in, follow the below instructions for setting up alerts.

PsychiatryOnline Publication Alerts

Publication alerts will notify you when the current journal issue is available.

  1. Click on the My POL tab to access My Alerts, as shown below. This tab is also where you can modify any existing Topic or Contents alerts.
  2. Click Edit Publication Alerts.
  3. Select the publications for which you would like alerts, and click on Save Changes.

PsychiatryOnline Topic Alerts 

Topic alerts will notify you when any resources related to that topic are added to PsychiatryOnline. This may include journal articles, news, best practices, and books.

  1. Click on the Topics tab near the top of the screen.
  2. Browse to find the topic you are interested in.
  3. Click on Get Alert, as shown below.
  4. Check your email and click the button to Confirm.

Taylor & Francis Online 

You must create an individual account in order to setup Taylor & Francis journal alerts. To do so, click the Register link at the top of the screen. Fill out the information requested. A confirmation email will be sent to the address you have provided. You must respond to the confirmation email to activate your account.

New Content (TOC) Alerts

  1. Once you have created an account and signed in, click on the Browse tab at the top of the page.
  2. Select a journal of interest to you by clicking on the title.
  3. Click on New content alerts in the center of the journal home page as shown below.
  4. Select the type of TOC alert you require from the drop down menu (either email alert or RSS feed).
  5. If requesting an RSS alert, depending on the RSS reader you are using, you will then need to click Subscribe to this feed or paste the URL into the field in your reader and submit your request for a new feed.
  6. You will start to receive Table of Contents (TOC) alerts, which notifies you of each new issue of a publication of your choice.

Citation Alerts

  1. Search for content in Taylor & Francis and select an article of interest.
  2. On the article page, click Citations as shown below.
  3. Subscribe to citation updates.
  4. You will start to receive Citation alerts, which notifies you when that particular article has been cited.


Web of Knowledge / Web of Science

You must create a personal account in order to create alerts for Web of Knowledge. To register, click Sign In in the upper right hand corner of the screen, and then select Register. Fill out the information requested to create your account. Once you have logged into your account, you will be able to set Citation Alerts and Saved Searches.

Citation Alerts

This feature allows you to receive an e-mail alert when articles you select are cited. Alternately, you can use this feature to keep a list of your favorite articles. To add an article to this list (and receive an e-mail each time it is cited), follow the instructions below.

  1. Search for your research topic in Web of Knowledge.
  2. Click on the article of interest.
  3. When viewing a Full Record, click Create Citation Alert, as shown below. Note: not all Full Records in all products will have this button. If you do not see the Create Citation Alert button, then the record does not contain sufficient information for the alerting system to connect it to references cited by other articles.
  4. Now, you will automatically receive an e-mail alert every time the article is cited in a journal indexed in the Web of Science database.
  5. If you need to change your alert settings, click on My Tools at the top of the page and select Saved Searches & Alerts.

Saved Searches

This feature allows you to receive email alerts or RSS feeds of the latest documents which result from running your search query. You may create as many alerts as you need. Follow the instructions below for creating alerts for Saved Searches.

  1. Search for your research topic in Web of Knowledge.
  2. Click on Search History near the top right.
  3. If you have created several searches, the auto-alert will only be run against your most recently created search (the one on the top of the Search History). So you may need to re-type an earlier search to force it to the top.
  4. Click on Save History, as shown below. If you haven't already logged in, you'll be prompted to do so at this time.
  5. Give your search a name, a description, and click Save.
  6. Now, periodically, you will receive an email with the new results of your search, with embedded links back into the database you searched.
  7. If you need to change your alert settings, click on Open Saved History.


Wiley Online Library

You must create a personal account in order to create alerts for Wiley Online To register, click Log in/Register in the upper right hand corner of the screen, and then select Register. Fill out the information requested and click Submit registration. Once you have logged into your account, you will be able to set email alerts for new content and saved searches. To manage existing Wiley alerts, click on My Profile at the top of the screen, and then select Alert Manager. To set alerts follow the instructions below.

Content Alerts 

You can sign up to receive an e-mail alert containing the table of contents for any Wiley Online Library journals. Simply find publications of interest using Publications or Browse by Subject and choose Get New Content Alert from the Journal Tools menu, as shown below. For journals publishing Accepted and Early View articles, these will be included in your e-mail alerts.

Search Alerts 

You can be notified by e-mail when new papers are published that match your search criteria. Simply conduct a search and choose Save Search on the Search Results page, as shown below.


Ebook Central
You can set up alerts when new Ebook Central titles match your search criteria. Follow the instructions below to create Ebook Central search alerts:

  1. Search for e-books using the Simple or Advanced Search.
  2. Click on the Save this search, as shown below.

  3. Name the search and select Notify me of new results. Enter your email address, and choose a frequency.

  4. Click Save.


Instructions for Online Resources

Google Scholar

Search Alerts

You do not need a Google Account in order to create search alerts and citation alerts. You can enter any email address of your choice. If the email address isn't a Google account or doesn't match your Google account, then Google will email you a verification link, which you'll need to click in order to start receiving alerts. 

To create a search alert, search for the topic of interest, and click the envelope icon in the sidebar of the search results page, as shown below. Enter your email address, and click Create alert. Google Scholar will then periodically email you newly published papers that match your search criteria. There's a link to cancel the alert at the bottom of every notification email.

Citation Alerts

To create a Google Scholar citation alert, search for the title of your article and then click on the Cited by link, as shown below. Next, click on the envelope icon in the left sidebar of the search results page. Enter your email address, and click Create alert.


You can get emails when new results for a topic show up in Google Search. For example, you can set alerts for your topic keywords or for researcher names.

Create an Alert

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. In the box at the top, enter a topic you want to follow.
  3. To change your settings, click Show options. You can change:
    • How often you get notifications
    • The types of sites you’ll see
    • Your language
    • The part of the world you want info from
    • How many results you want to see
    • What accounts get the alert
  4. Click Create Alert. You’ll get emails whenever we find matching search results.

Edit an Alert

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. Next to an alert, click Edit Edit.
  3. If you don’t see any options, click Show options.
  4. Make your changes.
  5. Click Update Alert.
  6. To change how you get alerts, click Settings Settings and then check the options you want and click Save.

Delete an Alert

  1. Go to Google Alerts.
  2. Next to the alert you want to remove, click Delete Delete.
  3. Optional: You can also delete an alert by clicking Unsubscribe at the bottom of an alert email.

Talkwalker Alerts is a free an easy alternative to Google Alerts. Monitor the Web for interesting new content about your name, brand, competitors, events or any favorite topic. Talkwalker Alerts makes social media monitoring easy and brings every single mention of your brand across the internet - from websites, blogs, forums and even Twitter to your inbox in one email.

Use Boolean operators to narrow down on the results that matter the most to you. Customize your alerts so you receive only the most relevant ones. 

How can I set up an alert?

Setting up Talkwalker Alerts takes a few seconds. All you need to do is follow the steps below:

  1. Go to
  2. Pick a topic to set up an alert and enter it into our alerts search bar.
  3. Enter the email address where you would like to receive your alerts. You’ll receive Talkwalker Alerts at any email address you wish to use.
  4. Choose where you would like  to receive alerts from: News, Twitter, Blogs or Discussion forums.
  5. Choose the language of your results. They offer results in 22 different languages.
  6. Select how often you would like to receive alerts in your inbox. Select “As it happens” to keep an eye on Twitter in near real-time.
  7. Select whether you’d like to receive all mentions of your favorite topic on the internet or only the ones with the most engagement.
  8. Use our preview feature to check that everything is set up as you would like.
  9. Hit the “Create Alert” button.
  10. Check your email to verify your email address and Talkwalker Alerts will start sending you alerts straight to your inbox.

In order to set up an RSS feed, you have to log in to your alerts account by clicking on Talkwalker Alerts, and then click on the “Manage” tab. Next, you simply have to click on the RSS icon next to the alert for which you would like to create an RSS feed and copy the XML file. Then add it to your feed reader, such as Feedly.

If you’d like to set up an RSS feed for all of your alerts, you can click on the master RSS icon above all of the alerts and then paste it as a new source in your feed reader.

This page has been adapted with permission from Northcentral University Library Research Process: Database Alerts & RSS Feeds