Many research and academic fields have their own leading journals where the most significant articles are published, and from which writers take the most citations. By regularly following new publications, you can keep up-to-date with developments in your own academic field.
The traditional way of keeping up is by using the table of contents (TOC) facilities that are offered by different journal hosting services such as Emerald, Infotrive, Ingenta, MetaPress and Sage, or by journal publishers such as Springer, Elsevier and Wiley through their own websites. For news alerts, the subscriber creates a list of journals to be the object of regular searches. The subscriber is then informed by e-mail whenever a new issue is published, or then the subscriber can follow what is happening on the webpage of news alert service provider.
The most commonly used tools are alert services, RSS feeds and 'favourite titles' lists. More on this subject can be found in the chapter on 188.8.131.52 Current Awareness Tools.
The IngentaConnect journal hosting service can act as an example.
IngentaConnect carries approximately 25 million references to journal articles, and approx. 31,000 journal contents pages from 250 publishers. For the current awareness service, you can create a list of those journals from which you would like to receive news alerts or RSS feeds about their tables of contents. In the service, it is also possible to create an alert that resembles your search. The use of the service requires registration and a login.
Science Direct acts here as an example of personalised services.
Elsevier's Science Direct portal offers different personalised services. The user can generate a 'favourite titles' list from chosen journals and visit the webpage to read them, or can activate an issue alert or RSS article feed on them. Following the favourites list, and using the alert service require a personal registration and a login.
Favourite titles and alert services
The table of contents of the latest issue of the journal, and article references come as email alerts. http://www.sciencedirect.com 25.7.2011
You can browse most recently published material with an RSS reader. Activating a feed does not require a personal login.
You can place alerts or RSS feeds for individual journals that contain articles that you want to keep up with. The example is from Nature journal.
Many journals offer articles in press or ASAP articles ('as soon as publishable') in electronic format. These articles can be at different stages of the publishing process, hence the referencing information can sometimes be deficient.
In the picture, we see articles at different stages of the publishing process. You can also place alerts and RSS feeds on them. Articles in press http://www.sciencedirect.com 15.7.2013
With the RefWorks citation management programme, you can create a list of favourite journal titles. What articles are published in them can be checked, and if you want, you can save the most interesting articles' reference information in the folders of the programme. RefWorks also serves as an RSS reader.