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Journals: how to find and use journal articles: How to keep up-to-date with new articles

What are journal articles? Where can you find journals online and in the Library? How can you find a known article or articles on a topic?

How to keep up-to-date with new articles (browsing and current awareness)

If you are undertaking an ongoing piece of research or just want to keep up-to-date with a topic then you may find browsing through journals or setting up a current awareness alert useful.

You can look through the contents pages of new issues of printed journals or e-journals - or you may wish to use the specialist browsing service Browzine to keep up-to-date.

Many database services offer 'alert' functions. These enable you to set up an email alert to notify you when new journal articles (or other materials) meeting your specified search criteria are published . This means you don't have to keep running new searches on the same database. Often you may need to create a separate individual account on the database service in order to make use of these current awareness alerting functions.

As an alternative to saving a search with a subject specific database you could explore ZETOC, an electronic table of contents service provided by the British Library. 

Browsing journals

You can also find individual print or electronic journals using SUPrimo and then browse the tables of contents of individual issues:

Setting up current awareness alerts

The instructions for setting up current awareness alerts differ for each database provider. Sometimes you need to perform a search and then set up an alert for this saved search. In other database services you may choose to set up the alert and then select the criteria. You can usually choose how often you wish to be emailed, e.g. once a day, once a week or only when new material is available.

In some database services you will need to register individually with the service (e.g. SCOPUS, Web of Science, ProQuest, EBSCOHost) before you can save searches and set up alerts. If you need help with this, please contact the Library.

You can select relevant databases from our A-Z list:

If you would like further help with setting up alerts using database services, please contact the Library:


ZETOC can be used to keep up to date with new publications in your subject area. ZETOC is based on the journals available via the British Library and it provides information about the articles contained in over 36,000 journals and many conference proceedings. There are two ways which you can use ZETOC as a current awareness service: saving a list of relevant journals or saving search terms. Each time new materials are added to the British Library's collections which meet your ZETOC Alert's specifications you will receive an email.  

To use ZETOC in this way select the link below, log in with your DS username and password, then select ZETOC Alert. Give your new ZETOC Alert list a name and next decide whether you wish to add journals or searches to your list. 

Adding journals. You can add journal titles to your ZETOC Alert list. If you know the specific journal you can search by journal title, alternatively you can browse the list by discipline to see journals in the British Library's collection with your specific subject area. 

Adding searches. You can add search terms to your ZETOC Alert. Identify relevant terms and add these to your search. Anytime the search terms appear in the titles of any of the journals added to the British Library's collections (not just any journals added to your ZETOC Alert), you will receive an email notification. Make use of the search hints on the page to avoid receiving too many irrelevant alerts. 

Points to note:

  • Not all the journals listed in ZETOC will be available from the Andersonian Library. For eligible users the inter-library service will be able to obtain articles from journals not held in our collections. 
  • When adding search terms be aware that ZETOC only searches the title of the article, not the full text or abstract.
  • ZETOC Alert lists must be renewed every twelve months. You will receive a notification email to remind you to renew, modify or delete the list. 
  • ZETOC Alerts can be modified at any point. 


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