Tracking Literature

With more than 5,000 journal publishers, 50,000+ journals and 2.5 million articles published every year, it’s easy to miss important information. The following services can help you keep on top of published research in your field.

Most Brock databases offer e-mail alert services that allow you to keep up-to-date when new research in your discipline is published.

Most electronic journals offer notifications which alert you when new issues are published: usually this is referred to as journal TOCs – Table of Contents – alerts. Go to the website of the journal to sign up an account: look for information on alerts on either the top or bottom navigation menu.

Another option is JournalTOCs, a free collection of journal tables of contents for almost 30,000 journals, from more than 2700 publishers. This is a free service provided by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Set up a ‘search alert’ and Google will email you when new results for your topic – or name – show up in Google searches.

Blogs, news reports, lab notebooks and other informal channels are increasingly used to discuss and disseminate research. Researchers are also using social media, particularly Twitter, to share and comment on scholarship. These platforms promote timely and interactive discussions and collaboration.

  • Sign up for an RSS feed from a blog or website of your choice.  Notifications of new content will can be sent to your email account or use a news aggregator to gather all your incoming feeds in one place.
  • Interested in tracking a specific researcher? Find and follow them on Facebook, Twitter — or academic social networking sites to keep up with their work.


Contact Elizabeth Yates, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian