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Publishing Resources

What is a search alert?

Search Alerts save you time!

Alerts provide automatic e-mail notification whenever new search results become available. You can usually customize the alert to send daily, weekly, or monthly and contain the abstract or just the citation. 

How do you make one?

Every database is different but typically you will need to do some combination of the following:

  1. Create an account in the database. This is separate from your university account and lets you save searches and make alerts.  You will usually find an option to this in the upper right corner of the search page.  It may say "Sign in" or "My account".
  2. Test out a few searches until you are getting exactly what you want in the results list. 
  3. Save the search and create the alert.  The database will usually have help documentation to guide you or you can talk to your librarian for assistance.


Some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Monthly alert logs are much easier to keep on top of than daily logs
  • If given the option, select only new citations to include in the alert so you are not bombarded with duplicates
  • Keep the number of alerts manageable, under ten is generally recommended
  • Name your alert with the title of the database so you know where it is coming from when it arrives in your email


Academic search premier search screen with sign in highlighted

Academic search premier search with search history highlighted

Search history page in Academic Search Primier with the search alert option highlighted

Search alert creation page for Ebsco