What are Alerting Services? What are Alerting Services?

What are Alerting Services?

Traditionally researchers have kept up to date by regularly browsing through the latest paper issues of relevant journals within their subject areas. This manual process can be both time consuming and open to the possibility that an individual article may be overlooked. Alerting services provide an efficient way to keep up to date electronically with specific publications and articles.

Table of Content and Database Services

A table of contents service displays or delivers the ‘tables of contents' (TOC) of recent issues of journals which are of interest to the user. It may also be combined with an alerting service which delivers by email details of articles which meet a user's requirements as each new issue is published. Alternatively with some of the services a database search can be saved and then re-run automatically, so that when a new article is added to the database, which cites an article or keyword(s) from the saved list, the user is notified. Notification is via email, however some services are now developing the resource to enable users to set up RSS feeds.

Some of the services that offer alerting services are listed below. Please note that these links will take you to the service provider where you will be able to follow the instructions on the host service's web pages on how to set up an alert.



JournalTOCs is a free service provided a consortium of university and publishers to provide an alerting service for journals.  Once you have registered, selected journals can be exported to an rss reader which will then update automatically with new tables of contents as these are released.


This service is provided by the British Library in partnership with MIMAS, and allows users to select their favourite journals from a collection of approximately 20,000 titles in all subjects, by author or keyword, and then sends an e-mail whenever journals/articles matching the selected criteria are added to the collection.

Individual Journal Alert Services from Publishers:

Many of the electronic journal services to which UEA Library subscribes allow users to set up an alert for new journal issues or new articles featuring a user's desired keyword(s), some of these publishers also offer the option to set up an alert via RSS feeds.