Keeping up to date
Keeping your research up to date
If you are doing a piece of research over a period of weeks or maybe months, you will be aware that new developments will be taking place all the time. It's a good idea to develop techniques for keeping up to date with new publications and research in your subject area.
It is possible to keep up to date by setting up ‘alerts’ that will notify you anything new appears. This could be when a key author in your subject publishes new work, the next issue of a journal is published or simply when more appears on your topic.
You can also use an alerts service such as:
• Zetoc Alert (Falmouth)
• Zetoc Alert (Exeter)
Zetoc links into the British Library’s collection of journals and conference proceedings. The big advantage is that all your alerts come via one service, which only requires one password!
You can also set up alerts for Google Scholar
Many journals enable you to set up alerts too, so you'll automatically receive the table of contents when a new issue is published. Just find the journal home page and look for an alert or table of contents option.
Most researchers are used to looking through bibliographies of books and articles to see which references the author(s) has consulted for their research. However, that takes you backwards in time. Did you know you can also bring your search forwards in time with citation searching? In other words, finding out which papers or books have cited the work of interest to you since it was published. You can do this in various ways:
Using social media
Traditional scholarly communication can be very slow moving, so researchers often use social media resources to discover and disseminate their research. Tools such as Twitter and blogs offer fast, flexible and free ways of finding out about the latest research, and making connections with other researchers.
With Twitter for example, you can:
- Network with other researchers and interesting individuals using the 'Follow' option and get involved
- Keep updated on news and events posted by professional organisations, the government, your institution and various news channels
- Discover what's being discussed at conferences, talks and events by following 'Hashtags' (#)
You can save up to 25 searches on Twitter. To save a search, then click on the cog icon on the top right-hand-corner and click on 'Save search'.