Keeping up to date with new research
There are many ways of keeping up to date with research in your area. It's important you choose one that suits you and is also used by your research community. Some popular methods are listed below, but please feel free to get in touch with the Library for more information. Also, if you are a student then you may want to discuss this with your supervisor.
- Alert services and saved searches (e.g. see 'tools' in Web of Science, and 'alerts' in Scopus or Google Scholar). This can be a very useful way of keeping up to date with the latest academic research. For more information, please see below.
- Table of contents alerts (e.g. JournalTOCs and ZETOC Alert). These are useful if there are a handful of key journals in your field and you want an update when the latest edition is published.
- Using Twitter. You can follow key academics in your field if they're on Twitter. Plus, Twitter can be useful to see how research has been discussed in the mainstream news.
- Academic social networking (e.g. LinkedIn or ResearchGate) can be useful to keep in contact with researchers working in your area. However, we do not recommend using ResearchGate or Academia.edu for your references. This is because they are promotional platforms on which academics post their own articles. (A bit like facebook for academia). While some of these articles are fine (copyright issues aside) and are also published in journals, there is no verification on what the academic has posted. e.g. we've seen a few cases where academics have posted early version of their articles on Research Gate which were not accepted for a journal. So students and staff should find the original version on the publisher's website and reference that version, and not cite Research Gate or Academic.edu.
- Academic 'news' sites, such as The Conversation, present academic research in a simplified way for a non-academic audience.
Alert services and saved searches - in more detail
Most international publication databases, such as Scopus and Web of Science, offer an 'alert' service that can email you when -
- A new article is published that meets your specific search criteria.
- A new article is published that cites a another particular article. This may be useful if there is a key article in your area that you know other articles relevant to you also tend to cite.
- A new article written by a specific author is published. This is a useful way of keeping up with key researchers in your area.
The screenshot above illustrates how this can be done in Scopus. Scopus has good coverage of most subject areas, with the exception of the arts and some areas within humanities. To set up Scopus alerts -
- Go to Scopus.
- Click Alerts (top of screen).
- Click option on right-hand side to set alert.
- You will then be automatically emailed with (hopefully!) useful things.