Interested in setting up an automatic notification letting you know when new articles have been published in your area of interest? This is easier to do than you may think, and a huge time saver. Instead of doing all the searching yourself, notifications will come right to your email inbox. Sounds great, right? Well, here are a couple of ways to get this up and running.
PubMed offers an automatic search update through their My NCBI feature. Just follow the link to PubMed and click on the top right to sign in to NCBI. Next, either enter your NCBI account credentials or register for and NCBI account. After successfully signing in, go ahead and conduct a search using keywords, MeSH terms, or the advanced search features. Once the search is optimized to bring up the key articles you are interested in, follow the save search link immediately below the search box. This will bring you to a new page where you can name the search. Click save. On the next page there will be options to further refine your search. Make sure to check the radio button to get email updates of new search results and confirm your correct email address is showing. There will also be options about the frequency of emailing search results to you. Once you are happy with everything click save. You should be all set up. If you should ever decide not to receive these email updates, just go to the My NCBI link at the top right of PubMed and manage your saved searches.
Google Scholar also offers an easy way to set up automatic email updates for a literature search. Simply navigate to Google Scholar and sign in using your Google account (or sign up for a free one). Once logged in, type in the search you are interested in and press search. If you are happy with the search, click on the create alert link on the bottom left. From there make sure all the details are correct (including your email address) and click create alert when finished. To cancel alerts, just go to the Alerts link on the top left of Google Scholar.
I am sure there are other ways of setting up automated literature searches, but these are the easiest free ones I am aware of. I personally prefer the PubMed alerts since I find them a bit easier to customize and they are somewhat restricted to biomedical journals. From my experience, Google Scholar sometimes brings up some pretty obscure articles that don't seem to match the search parameters. Hope this is helpful in getting you set up with automated searches. If you know of additional ways to set up automatic publication notifications, please let me know in the comments section below.
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