#Finding scientific information: Discipline specific current awareness

Discipline specific current awareness

One method of following what is happening in your field of study is to use current awareness services based on a subject reference search. Most databases and services offer the possibility of ordering automatic RSS feeds and alerts. Sometimes it is enough to simply save the search and to manually run it again at regular intervals in the database. Your own needs dictate which method suits you best. However, many databases do require registration if you want to save searches and create alerts.


Automatic current awareness

When performing a search on a subject area, you should make an effort to create a good search profile, because this profile in most databases can be set as the target of your automatic current awareness alerts. A good search profile guarantees that the alerts give you relevant references. Creating RSS feeds and alerts is easy after a successful search, and keeping up with citations then happens promptly.

RSS feeds are commonly used as automatic and real time ways of ensuring current awareness; however, it is also possible to use them for keeping track the contents of new journals or keeping up with articles. http://search.proquest.com 12.7.2013.


In brief, what is meant by news feeds or alerts, is that search results are automatically sent to the subscriber's email. The subscriber can choose how often the alert service performs a search in the database; it can be daily, weekly, monthly or every time there is an update in the database.

Some databases, for example Science Direct, make it possible to create topic alerts. In the guided topic alert facility, the search profile has been built in advance, and therefore the user only has to choose suitable topics from the menu. If you take this course of action, you can skip running an information search before ordering the alert. Source of the picture: Science Direct http://www.sciencedirect.com/  12.7.2013

Manual current awareness

Saving your search is an option when the service does not offer a facility for creating an alert or ordering an RSS feed. A search profile that has proven to be good can easily be manually run again in the database. Saving is also very convenient if, for some reason, the information search is interrupted. This means the work is saved in the database, and you can continue searching even the next day. Saving the search also acts as a memo