Keeping up to date

In this section you’ll find information and guidance on keeping up to date with developments and publications in your research field.

Why keep up to date?

New research is always being published and you need to ensure you keep abreast of new developments in your field. If you’re working on a doctorate or masters degree by research, it’s important to be aware of work published as you do your research, up to (and perhaps beyond) your viva.

How- 1- Alerts and feeds
Alerts and feeds

  • will automatically find out about relevant new resources which have been published
  • can be set up for updates for conferences, book publishers, cited references, authors, table of contents, professional bodies, blogs, press releases, institutional repositories or many other sources of information

An alert is an email that informs you when something new becomes available on an electronic resource, for example new sources on a database or new items on a website.

A feed, also called an RSS feed, Atom feed, or web feed contains updated information from a web site. You can subscribe to feeds from lots of different web sites and then use a browser or a feed reader to see any new updates from all your feeds.

Many of our specialist resources such as databases have an option to set up alerts.
Journal and magazine websites will often allow you to sign up to alerts containing the contents pages of new issues.

Online news services provided by news broadcasters, companies, societies and organisations often have the option to sign up for feeds. You can also sign up for feeds to blogs.

How- 2 - Email discussion lists
A useful way to keep up-to-date with topics in general. Many invite contributions on research in progress.

You can find a directory of academic mailing lists at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/mailinglists/a-z/ You can also set up an account there and subscribe to lists.

How- 3 - Social media
Many researchers have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and so on. They are useful to:

  • connect with colleagues
  • follow their work
  • share your work
  • take part in conversations around your research topic
Which method should I use?

You may wish to spend a few moments considering the following questions to make sure you are choosing the most relevant resource:

  • Does it fit with the way you work?
  • Does it do what you need it to do?
  • Does it have the content you need?
  • Does it allow you to network with research contacts in your field?

When considering social media, bear in mind privacy policies- with whom do you want to share your information, what are you going to share?