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Staying Current in Your Field: Research Alerts

This guide will help you set up alerts so you can be notified what's in new issues of journals you are interested in following or what's new in a specific database on the subject you are researching.


Creating a Research alert Using "My NCBI"


1.  If you don't already have a "My NCBI" account create one, if you do log into your account. 

2.  Run your search on PubMed.

3.  Scan your results to ensure you are getting what you need, if not redesign the search strategy and repeat steps 2 & 3.

4.  Click on "Save Search" at the top of the results page.

5.  Change the name of your search if you want and click save.

6.  Would you Like email suggested selections

Yes, once a month.

Medline - if you are uploading it to EndNote, otherwise Summary (text) or Abstract (text)

500 items

7.  Click the "Save" button.

To get the full-text of articles you have been alerted to through My NCBI

1. Copy the PMID number of the article you want

2. Go to PubMed@LLU 

3. Paste the PMID number in the search line and hit enter

4. Click on the LLU&MC Find Article button

5. Look for the word "Article" underlined (linked) and click on it


Setting up Regular Alerts on Research Topics

Most of our database providers allow users to set up personal accounts where they can store searches and other personal preferences for future use. This is ideal for research topics that you need to follow regularly.

1.  It is suggested that you set up a time to consult with your library liaison for ideas on which database(s) you need to search and how to set up an efficient search strategy (you will always get some unrelated retrieval, but a tight search strategy can help limit it).

2.  Perform the base search and refine it until you are satisfied that it is retrieving what you need.

3.  It is suggested you set up an EndNote Library with the results of your basic search (you will add the alert results as they come in to "grow" your library)

EBSCOHost Databases

It is important that you create a separate search for each EBSCOHost database.  Each database has its own record structure and thesaurus which need to be taken into consideration when developing your search strategy.


1.  Create a My EBSCOhost Account (if you don't already have one, if you do sign into it)

2. Choose the database you want to use for your search (CINAHL is the default datatbase if you signed up using the link above) by clicking on the choose databases link in the center of the page.

3.  Run your search.

4.  Scan your results to ensure you are getting what you need, if not redesign the search strategy and repeat steps 3 & 4.

5.  Place the records in your folder and export them to "Direct Export to EndNote, ProCite, CITAVI, or Reference Manager". (You will need to import them into EndNot using the "Reference Manager" filter.

6.  Click "Back" to return to your folder, and "Back" again to return to your search.

7.  Click on the "Alert / Save / Share" just above your first displayed citation.

8.  Clinck on "Create an alert"

9.  Suggested settings

>Change the Subject line to what ever you want for easy identification in you inbox

>Enter the email address(es) you want it sent to

>Change the frequency to "Once a month"

>Change results format to "Bibliographic Manager"

10. Save the alert