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Alerts: Search, Table of Contents, & Citation Alerts

Use this guide to create auto alerts for your research.


This guide presents information about search alerts and step-by-step instructions for creating alerts in various databases. 

Most of the resources referenced in this guide are subscription databases and may only be accessed by current students, faculty, and staff of Loyola University Maryland or Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Which Database Should I Use?

If you'd like to receive email alerts when a new issue of a specific journal is published, search the journals list on the library's website to see which database to go to.

  1. Select "Journals" in the drop-down field next to the search box on the homepage, and search for the journal title.
  2. If we subscribe to it electronically, you'll see a list of databases through which we have access to that journal
  3. Click on the title of the database through which you'd like to get the alerts
  4. Follow the instructions on the appropriate database tab in this help guide

If your database isn't listed on this guide, that database might not offer alerts. Ask us to be sure!

Please contact us if you have problems or questions.

Types of Alerts

Search alerts, or current awareness tools, are a great way to keep up with scholarly publications or research topics. There are three main types of alerts, which are described below:

  • Search Alerts: The database automatically looks for your search terms on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. A notice of any new results is sent to you by e-mail or RSS.
  • Journal Issue or Table of Contents (TOC) alerts: You select the journals you are interested in, and when a new issue is published, you are notified by e-mail or RSS with a table of contents of the new issue. Often, links to the articles will be included.

Note: You can receive email alerts for new issues of journals to which we don't have current access, but you won't be able to get the full text of the articles. You can also set up TOC alerts through some journals' websites, but you won't necessarily have access to the full text of the articles.

  • Citation Alerts: Some databases offer citation alerts, alerting you when an article you are interested in has been cited by another source.