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Alert Services - A How to Guide: Alert

Many of the databases that the Limestone University Library subscribe to offer alert services. An alert is an email or RSS notification that the database can automatically send to you when new items are added to the database that match your specific searc

Setting up a database search alert

The steps:

  1. Select a source that has an alert service, for example the Web of Science database or the ScienceDirect platform.
  2. Register or create a profile/an account: enter your email address and perhaps some personal information, and select a password.
  3. Understand how to query the database. For example, identify the fields that can be queried.
  4. Run a few queries and assess the relevance of the results.
  5. If necessary, modify your query.
  6. Set the query as an alert and configure the latter (see parameters).



Alert parameters

  • Frequency at which results are to be received (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.).
  • Data received: bibliographic references, abstracts, key words, link to source, etc.
  • Alert result format: short format, detailed format, bibliographic formats (Endnote), etc.
  • Message format: text, html, RSS, etc.
  • Expiration date

Example: setting up an alert on ScienceDirect

  • Register by clicking on Register now.
  • Log on using your login and password.
  • Run a search: click on the "Search" tab and enter a query.
  • On the Results page, click on: Save a Search Alert.
  • Give the alert a name and specify its frequency.
  • You can modify or delete an alert via the alert list that is accessible under the "My alerts" tab.

If you are experiencing problems with our guides and databases, please contact ProfessorJanet S. Ward,, Assistant Director of the Library and Web Services Librarian.