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A guide to current awareness

This guide suggests ways in which academic staff and researchers can keep to date with new publications and services.

New books alerting service

There are many online booksellers that provide an alerting service and will email details of new books in your area of interest. Some of the popular alerting services are:

Journal Alerting Services and Table of Contents (TOC)

The main TOC service the University Library subscribes to is ZETOC, which provides access to the British Library's electronic table of contents service from 1993 to date, with daily updates. The database contains approximately 52 million journal and conference records, with 29,000 current journals. Zetoc Alert  is a current awareness service which emails you the table of contents of your selected journals.

Another useful journal alerting service is offered by Taylor and Francis Online

JournalTOCs is a journal alerting service aimed at researchers.

Sage Journals email alerts are available online.

Saving and re-running database searches

Many databases allow you to re-run searches on a regular basis to catch new articles or conference papers on your key research topics. Please go to your subject guides to access the relevant databases.

RSS feeds

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS feeds allow you to sign up for alerts or notifications from different sites. When the site is updated or new content added, an alert is sent to one single site called a feed reader or news reader or news aggregator which you have subscribed to.

To use RSS feeds you need to sign up to a news reader. There are many commercial ones including Google Blogger


Learning Resources has a series of Blogs that cover the latest goings on in all of our libraries/LRCs.  You can view them online or set up RSS feeds.

If you want to find out what other blogs are available use the blog search engine Technorati .

Monitoring changes to web pages

ChangeDetect is a free service that saves your favourite web pages, monitors content for changes and sends an automatic email notification to you whenever your web pages are updated. You need to register online.

Electronic discussion lists

JISCmail  is the national academic mailing list service aimed specifically at Higher Education and research communities.

Forthcoming Conferences

To keep up-to-date with forthcoming conferences you can register at Conference Alerts for a free alerting service.

The Education Conference Listings Service from Education-line is a freely accessible calendar for education and training related conferences as notified by their organisers and giving information about conference locations, content and contact details.


For help and advice on any of the current awareness services listed, please contact your Academic Liaison Librarians.

University of Bedfordshire

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