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Current Contents and Alerts: Home

A guide to resources that provide current awareness, article alerts and RSs access to scholarly research materials.


What are current awareness services?

Current awareness services, also known as alerting services, are free services provided by publishers. 

Many specialized alert services are also available from within indexes, databases, and electronic journals which can automatically notify you of newly published literature in your areas of interest.

These services range from emails of a journal's latest table of contents to RSS feeds of customized citation alerts.

Current Awareness Alerts

Alert Types

Table of Contents Alert
A Table of Contents (TOC) alert automatically sends you the table of contents from a new journal issue.  Many journals provide free tables of contents and sometimes saved search alerts to newly published content.
Search Alert
A search alert allows you to save a custom search within an index or database.  The search will run automatically whenever the database is updated or at the interval you specify, and you will receive notification of any new material that is found.
Citation Alert
You can select a list of articles from a database, and each time one these articles is cited in new literature within the database, you will be notified.


Alert Delivery Methods
Email Alerts
Email is the most common form of delivery or notification for alerts.
RSS feeds are sometimes used to deliver alerts.  To subscribe to an RSS feed, you will need a reader or aggregator.  There are several types of aggregators ranging from My Yahoo to Bloglines.  Some browsers, such as the current versions of Firefox and Safari have built in RSS feeders.

Meet Your Librarian

Linda Kopecky's picture
Linda Kopecky
Head, Research Services
UWM Libraries
2311 East Hartford Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53211


Many thanks to User Services Interns Jen Graffunder and Tobias Fudge for the 2015 updates to this guide!