What is a database alert?

The alert service offered by many databases helps you stay up to date on what has been published on a given topic via regular, free e-mails. 

Depending on the databases, there are different types of alerts:

  • Table of contents alert: sends you the table of contents each time a new issue of a given journal is published.
  • Search alert: notifies you when new documents matching your search criteria or making reference to authors you would like to keep track of are added.
  • Publication citation alert: notifies you whenever a given publication (journal article, book chapter, etc.) is cited in a new document added to the database.
  • Author citation alert: notifies you whenever a given author is cited in a new document added to the database.

Every database has its own specific features and design, but most have information on their platforms on how to set up predefined alerts. Often, after performing a search, you will see icons such as the ones below. In those cases, you simply have to click on “Create an alert”:

                                                

If a database offers the option of creating alerts, it will be indicated in the “Also relevant” section for each database.