Skip to Main Content
Go to Penn Libraries homepage   Go to Guides homepage

Alerting Services: Citation, Table of Contents, Saved Search: Alerting Services

Staying Current with Alerts

Many databases and journals use e-mail alerts to inform users of new content. With most all alerting services, it is necessary to set up a personal account.  There are a number of different types of alerts you can create in order to stay informed:

  • Citation Alerts- Receive notifications when a specific journal article is cited.
  • Table of Contents Alerts - Receive notifications when a new issue of a specific journal has been published.
  • Saved Search Alerts- Construct a search within a resource, save the search strategy, and receive email notifications when new items are added to that resource that match your saved search. Search alerts do not save records; only the search statement. 

Citation Alerts: Web of Science

Connect to Web of Science

  1. Access the Full Record of an article.
  2. On the Full Record page, click the Create Citation Alert link on the righT
  3. Log into your Web of Science account.  You must create a free WOS account to create alerts.
  4. On the Create Citation Alerts pop-up, Choose email, select format, note expiration date of one year, click Create Citation Alert.
  5. Click Close. 

If a record does not have a Create Citation Alert button, it does not contain sufficient information for the alerting system to connect it to references cited by other articles.

Citation Alerts: Scopus

Connect to Scopus 

  1. On the Document details page, click Set citation alert on the right of the page.
  2. Login with your Elsevier account (you must create a free individual account)
  3. Keep the default name or create a new name for the alert.
  4. Enter the email address(es) to which alerts should be sent.
  5. Choose frequency, format, and status
  6. Click Set Alert.
  7. Click the Alerts bar at screen top to modify Alerts.

Citation Alerts: Google Scholar

Connect to Google Scholar

To create an alert for articles citing a particular paper:

  1. Find the paper in Google Scholar.
  2. Click on the “Cited by” link below the search result.
  3. Click envelope on the left side of the screen.

Citation Alerts: Selected Publishers

TOC Alerts: Keep track of 30 journals with JournalTOCs

JournalTOCs logo with orange tiled square with arrows pointing inwards


JournalTOCs provides access to the Tables Of Contents (TOCs) of the current issues of over 30,000 journals that produce TOC RSS feeds.  An individual who registers for the free option of this service can

  • follow and receive email alerts for 15 journals.
  • searches will retrieve up to 25 articles

Users can search for journals by title or ISSN, or keywords in journal article titles. Journals TOCs can be browsed by publisher or subject. 

To follow a journal, from the search and browse results, click on the box next to the journal title.   Click Search to return to the main page and see a list of the journals you are following

When viewing alerts off-campus, consider using the Penn EZproxy browser bookmarklet for easy access to Penn subscriptions:  

Setting up TOC Alerts: Selected Databases

TOC Alerts: Publishers and Organizations

For most all sites, it is necessary to first set up an individual account.

Saved Search: Google Alerts

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries.

After you enter a search, on the results page click on the Create Alert button option on the left. Complete form

Google alert form sample filled out with an Alert query, email, and number of results

and click Create Alert.

Setting up Saved Search: Selected Databases

Search Alerts: Associations, Organizations, Publishers

Penn Libraries Home Franklin Home
(215) 898-7555