Buena Vista University
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Current Awareness Services

Keeping abreast of the literature in your field can certainly be difficult in these times of information overload. However, there are ways to help you stay on top of the literature in your discipline or of a particular research interest. 

The two most common types of service offered through our databases are:
  • Table of Contents Alerts: As new issues of a journal are added to a database, an email message containing the full table of contents will be sent to you. If the alert is provided through an electronic journal publisher, the message will usually include hyperlinks to each article in the issue.
  • Automated Searches: After developing a search statement for your subject(s) of interest in a database, you will save the search to an account you create and issue a command so it is rerun at set intervals (e.g., once a month). Your search will be run as new material is added to the database, and if new items are retrieved, the results will automatically be sent to you by email.
Because current awareness services are customized to your individual preferences, it will be necessary for you set up a personal account in the database you select. This process requires you to complete a simple form and establish an individual username and password.

Once created, personal accounts are easy to edit. You may add and remove journals from a table of contents alert service or make changes to any automated searches you have established.

For assistance in setting up alerts, please contact a Reference Librarian.