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Current Awareness

Information on how to receive the latest information on your area of interest

Subject or topic alerts

Subject alerts (or Medline auto-alerts) are the best option when:

  • the literature is dispersed across numerous journals
  • your area of interest cuts across multiple disciplines

It is essentially a database search set to run at predetermined intervals and send you the new results.


Medline or Embase alerts

1. Start by accessing databases through the library homepage or the Library Databases sidebar to the left. Select your institution to ensure full text access.

2. Once at the Ovid interface, set up an account.. This allows you to save your search and set up your alert. This can be useful for other reasons too, for example when you want to return to a project at a later date without rewriting your search again, or to share searches between colleagues.     

3. Create a search. Try to find a search broad enough to capture new material, but without too much redundant material.

eg ((reduc* or prevent* or avoid* or minimis*) adj2 fall*).ti. for articles about falls prevention.

See the Searching for topic alerts guide on how to make your search effective.

Tip. The search must be by keywords, authors or journals only. New material will not have MeSH terms added yet. 

4.Save your search. When saving, choose the Autoalert option. 


5. From the Actions dropdown to the right of your search history select Create Auto-Alert. ‚Äč

6. Select your options:

In Scheduling Options choose how you want to receive your alert – weekly, monthly, etc.

  • If you want your alert on Monday morning set it to run on Sunday. Ovid is on US time.
  • Enter your preferred email at Delivery Options.
  • Modify the format of the citations you receive using the Fields>>Custom fields option. Title, abstract, author and source gives you a nice concise record to view.
  • In Report Type, option 2 Email includes records, a Results Display Link, and a link to each record's Fulltext or Complete Reference Display’ will give you a link to full text of the article if available.
  • Tick the Deduping Options box to avoid material repeating

If you require any assistance setting up a subject alert contact the library at


PubMed alerts

  • Create a free NCBI account.
  • Perform a search to identify relevant articles
  • Create alert option is below search box.
  • Sign in and select options for alerts.
  • Full text linking is available if you access PubMed via the library webpage.