Setting up alerts in databases can be a valuable tool for staying updated with the latest research in your field. There are three types of alerts commonly used:
By using these personalized alerting services, you can save time and effort in manually searching for new publications and ensure that the most relevant and up-to-date research comes directly to you.
You can set up alerts for journals (or clusters of journals) to receive email or RSS notifications when a new issue of the journal becomes available online. These alerts are often called TOC-alerts (TOC = Table of Contents) because they typically include the table of contents of the new journal issue.
TOC-alert on a journal in EBSCOhost
Enter your email address in the 'E-mail to' field, and choose one of the two options for 'E-mail contents':
- 'Link to table of contents': if you only want to see the table of contents
- 'Link to individual articles': if you also want to see the individual articles
TOC-alert on a journal in Sage
You can also use a TOCs service, such as Journal TOCs. These are free portal sites that bring together journals from hundreds of scientific publishers. With this service, you can set up a TOC-alert across different databases.
You can set up alerts on search queries, so that you receive email or RSS notifications about new publications that match your predefined search query. You can choose the time interval (day, week, month, etc.) and often the period during which this alert is active.
Example of a search alert in the Web of Science Core Collection
You can set up alerts for new citations of a publication, in other words, new publications that cite a publication marked by you. Researchers use this functionality to track how their own publications are used and cited in the scientific literature.
Example of a citation alert in the Web of Science
Go to the library catalogue and click on 'Alerting' in the main menu. There, you can sign in and either set up an alert via the overview of available profiles or request a specific profile.
Overview of available profiles
Requesting a specific profile
Using specialized software like reference managers can significantly simplify the process of managing and citing references in academic work. These reference managers allow you to store and organize your references in a library, making it easy to access and cite them in your publications with just a few clicks. This way, citing becomes much more efficient, and you can maintain a consistent and growing library of references for all your work.
Reference managers ensure that you have all the necessary details of a bibliographic reference, such as page numbers and place of publication, readily available, eliminating the need to scramble for missing information at the last moment.
Here are some examples of reference managers:
It is crucial to maintain proper folder management to ensure the effectiveness of using reference managers. Organizing references into separate folders for each paper or project can help avoid confusion and make the process of generating a bibliography smoother.
Remember to review imported references for any errors and make manual adjustments when necessary to ensure the accuracy of your citations.
To install Zotero for optimal use, install the following pieces of software.
If you wish to manage your local Zotero library online (and work independently on any PC), follow these additional steps:
Click on the Zotero Connector icon located to the right of your browser's address bar. (Please note that this icon will only be available if Zotero can read references on the webpage.) If the page contains multiple references, the icon will appear as a folder:
If the page displays only one reference, the Zotero icon changes from a folder icon to an icon representing the type of item (a book, an article, YouTube video, etc.):
Not only will the desired references be added to your Zotero library, but the linked PDFs will also be automatically attached when saving items. If desired, you can also include a link to the file.
Move your reference(s) from your main folder (My Library) to the desired subfolder in your Zotero library. Tip: Sort your main library by date added.
Organizing References using Tags
You can add tags to your items:
Note: When downloading certain references, their tags may be automatically included. You can disable this option in your Zotero Preferences.
If you are working collaboratively on a project with multiple people, it can be useful to share your references. This can be done easily by creating a group. Do not forget to synchronize to see the latest publications from the group.
Drag and drop your references into a word processor (e.g., Word) and/or automatically generate a bibliography.
After installing Zotero, a Word plugin will appear automatically in Word:
If you cannot find Zotero in the navigation bar above, you can install the plugin in your local Zotero library through Edit -> Preferences -> Cite -> Word Processors.
You can export your entire library, a folder, or an individual item. More information can be found here.
Choosing the Desired Citation Style
In your Preferences (via Edit -> Preferences), you can select one of the many available citation styles under the Cite -> Styles tab. Zotero supports most standard citation styles.
Mendeley is both a web application and a stand-alone application (Mendeley Reference Manager for Desktop). You can create an account on the website and optionally download the software. It is completely free and works with all major browsers, including a mobile application.
Your local Mendeley library is automatically synchronized with your online library, allowing you to work independently of your PC.
For a quick start, you can watch the following video that provides an overview of the main features of Mendeley in just 2 minutes.
For a more detailed guide, you can find it on the Mendeley website.
Please note that if you are still using the old Mendeley Desktop, it is recommended to upgrade to the new Mendeley Reference Manager. More information on how to do this can be found on the Mendeley website.
Install the web importer and easily add references to Mendeley. The web importer is compatible with all popular browsers.
Drag your reference(s) from your main folder (All References) to the desired subfolder (under Collections) in your Mendeley library. More information can be found here. Tip: Sort your main library by date added.
With Mendeley, you can also share your references with others. The web application is designed as a social networking site that allows you to connect with people who share similar interests. To share references, create a group. More information can be found on the Mendeley website.
More information on how to export your references can be found here.
Making notes and highlighting text
You can make notes on (sections of) your references and highlight text in uploaded PDF documents. You can collect notes and highlights in your Notebook. More information can be found here.
To make the most of EndNote, you need to install the following two components:
If you wish to manage your local EndNote library online (thus working independently of your PC): After downloading EndNote (desktop), create an EndNote Web account. Then, go to EndNote (desktop) and follow the instructions in this clip. EndNote will automatically synchronize your local EndNote library with your online EndNote library.
To get started quickly, create a Library first. How to do this is explained in the video below, which also highlights the main functionalities of EndNote desktop in just 7 minutes:
There are various options available to store references:
If you are working collaboratively on an assignment with multiple people, it can be useful to share your references. This can easily be done through the Share option:
Choosing the desired reference style
You can change the displayed reference style by selecting the desired style from the dropdown menu next to any reference:
You can also choose a different reference style by going to Tools -> Output Styles. EndNote supports most standard reference style formats.
General reference managers often struggle with supporting legal references. The V&A reference style ('Verwijzingen en Afkortingen'), which is considered the official citation style for legal texts in Flanders, is not a standard reference style offered in Mendeley, Zotero, or Endnote.
To address this issue, Juris-M provides a solution. Juris-M is a variant of Zotero (a free and open-source software package) with additional functionality for storing and citing legal and multilingual references.
Manually adjusting references
Adding citations in a Word document
Adding a bibliography in a Word document