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Library Research Tips & Tricks: Creating Search Alerts

This guide presents some tools and tricks you can use to make your research easier.

Subject Guide

Amanda Izenstark's picture
Amanda Izenstark

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Why create a search alert?

Search alerts can help you keep up when new articles are published on topics you're interested in, or notify you when the full text of a new issue of a journal is available in a database.

Many databases offer search alert services via email or RSS feed. The boxes below show how to create alerts in databases from two major companies, EBSCO and ProQuest, and in Google Scholar. For more information on creating alerts, please contact me or the Info & Research Help Desk.

Video Tutorial: Setting Up Email Alerts for New Articles (EBSCO)

Search Alerts in EBSCO Databases

The first step in creating a search alert in an EBSCO database is to create a search that returns results similar to what you'd like to receive alerts for.

On the page that displays your results list, click on Alert / Save / Share on the right above your results. A pop-up will offer either an email alert or an RSS feed.


If you'd like to create an email alert, you'll need to create an account or sign in to your pre-existing account. This will allow you to update and manage your alerts. Adjust the settings to reflect the frequency and style of alerts you'd like, and click on Save Alert.


You can also create a search alert for new issues of journals. Once you've searched for the journal using the Publications link at the top and are viewing the publication information page, click on Alert / Save / Share to display alert options. As above, adjust your settings and and save your alert.

Search Alerts in ProQuest Databases

To create a search alert in a ProQuest database, first seach for the topic you're interested in receiving alerts about.

On your results page, click on the "Create alert" link or icon in the upper right.

This will bring up a lightbox that will allow you to customize your alerts, including email subject, frequency of alerts, etc.


Search Alerts in Google Scholar

Information on creating alerts in Google is available below the search blank. As with the other databases, you can begin to create an alert once you've searched for a topic of interest.

At the top of your results page, you'll see some options for refining your search, followed by the Create email alert link.


Little is offered in the way of customizing your alert aside from the number of results you'd like to receive. Once you've adjusted the options and entered your email address, click on Create alert.

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