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Staying current

Our Current Awareness Services

The Library can help you keep informed about the latest research and developments in your area of interest. Set up alerts on a particular subject or choose to get the latest published articles from your selected journals - right to your desktop!

Our current awareness services will help you to:

  • Track new journal articles through:
    • Table of Contents (TOC) alerts where you can receive the latest information from your favourite journals
    • Search Alerts (Selective Dissemination of Information SDI alerts) to receive any new articles on a topic that you have decided the search terms for
  • Find new books purchased by the Library


Keeping up to date with developments in your area of practice is quite a challenge. A staggering amount of information is published every day both in print and in online formats. Alerts notify you by email or RSS feed of update that matches the search terms you have specified. We can help create these Alerts so you can stay abreast of current research in your topic and can be delivered directly to you.

RSS is a type of web feed that allows users and applications to receive regular updates from a website or blog of their choice. The acronym RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. It is sometimes referred to as the feed or RSS feed. The easiest way to tell if a site has RSS feeds is to look for the icon: RSS icon  or RSS icon 2.

Learn more about RSS feeds by viewing this video.

See the type of RSS updates available via the links below:

Table of Contents (eTOCs) alert service will send you contents from new journals as they are published. Most journals provide an eTOCs service. If you would like assistance with setting us up contact us or follow these steps to create alerts on Ovid Discovery.

To use this feature in Ovid Discovery you will need to create a login by clicking on 'Sign up' first.Once you've signed in, look for a specific journal title or browse journals by subject. 

The option to activate journal alerts will be visible after you have logged into your Ovid Discovery account (see links above):


To cancel alerts you will need to log into your Ovid Discovery account again. There is a link at the bottom of the alert email.

Search alerts, frequently known as Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI), allow you to save your search terms and be alerted by email or RSS when new articles matching your criteria are added to a database. Most of the library databases can be set up to run these alerts. This type of service can increase current awareness and may have a positive impact on efficiency and productivity. Please contact the Library staff for further information or follow these instructions to create a database alert on a CIAP Ovid Database.

To save database searches and to turn them into alerts you need to create a personal account.
The CIAP Ovid account will allow you to do this in CIAP Medline, Embase, Emcare and PsycINFO databases.
You can also sign up for personal accounts in other databases including ClinicalKey, ClinicalKey for Nursing, 

Steps to create an Alert in Medline (Ovid database on CIAP)

Follow these instructions to set up an alert in MEDLINE:

1. Click on either My Account or My Workspace in Ovid Medline

2. LogIn or Create a Personal Account

3. Run the search for the information you want, use the tick box to select the search history, then 'Save' the search. Any kind of search can be saved, whether on an author's name, journal title or a subject search.

4. You will need to give your saved search a Search Name and then 'Save'

5. To retrieve your saved search at any time log back into a CIAP Ovid database and click on My Workspace, then My Searches & Alerts. 
Note: this is in very tiny writing in the middle of the display.

6. To run the search again click on the tick box above your saved search and then Run. Remember to save the search again, overwriting your original search, if you want to make any changes.

To turn your search into an alert change the Type from Permanent to AutoAlert. Options are then displayed for how often the alert will be run and sent to you.


** To delete an alert once it is no longer useful you need to log back into your CIAP Ovid Workspace, and find your AutoAlert searches.**

Here are the steps to set up a search alert in Google Scholar:


  1. Go to Google Scholar and perform a search for your topic. Learn search tips for Google Scholar.

  2. Locate the Alert icon. ...

  3. You will then see options for your alert. ...

  4. Enter your email address in the Email box. ...

  5. Click Create Alert.