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Literature Review: Keeping up to date with literature

This guide will define a literature review, describe the process of writing a literature review and examine where to search for literature

From literature review to HDR Thesis

You have developed strategies, searched databases and written your literature review. You have a very good understanding of your research question and how you are going to proceed with your research for your Higher Degree Research Thesis. However, this may take several years to complete and you will need to know what is happening in your field of research while you are completing your own research. To do this you can save your searches as alerts so that when an article is published that matches your search criteria you will receive an email to notify you of its existence.

Table of Contents Alerts

A table of contents (TOC) alert, journal alert and publication alert will notify you when a new issue of a journal is published. By subscribing to these services you will receive an email when a new issue is published containing the table of contents. This can help you to stay up to date with current research relevant to your topic. Most journal databases will provide TOC alerts.

  • EBSCO databases - click on the "Publications' link in the top toolbar. Browse for the journal title and select. Click on the 'create journal alert" icon next to the title of the journal  (you will need to sign in to send e-mail alerts)
  • ProQuest databases - You will need to create a personal 'My Research' account and sign in. Then click on the 'Publications' link in the top toolbar. Search for the journal and click on the title. Then click on 'Set up alert'.
  • Web of Science

Topic or subject alerts

Subject alerts allow you to be notified when articles are published that match your subject criteria. After you have developed a search strategy and executed the search, you set up an alert to be notified of any new articles that get added to the database that match your search strategy.

A search alert will be sent to you after you have saved a database search that you run periodically.

The following databases support Table of Contents (ToC) and search alerts.

Citation Alerts

A citation alert notifies you when new publications cite a particular paper.

Citation alerts can be created for Web of Science and Scopus.

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