Alerts Help

Alerts will make your recurring searches even easier by automating your search and sending you the results on a regular basis. To receive alerts on your topic(s) of interest, simply create an Alerts account, specify your alert parameters and check your email. For additional information, please choose from one of the below help topics.

Alerts Help Topics:

Create an Alerts Account

Alerts registration is free, fast and simple. Click on the Register! link on the Alerts page, supply your name, email address and a password. You must confirm receipt of the alert email to activate your account by clicking on the email link. At this point, you can begin creating alerts.

Create an Alert Account

Alerts Homepage

The Alerts homepage allows you to navigate through the details of current alerts, create new alerts, modify alerts and delete alerts. The left hand navigation pane lists your alerts along with the most recent number of returned results. Selecting an alert here will allow you to edit the alert information, view archived results or delete the alert.

Alerts Homepage

Create an alert

Create an Alert

The Alert Details fields are similar to the Advanced Search fields.

  1. Press the Create button on the top left panel of the Alert home page.
  2. Alert Name: Select a memorable name for your alert.
  3. Description: Clarify your alert for your future reference.
  4. Alert Email Format: You can choose either HTML or TEXT email format.
  5. Alert Frequency: Choose how often to receive your Alert results.
  6. Enter your search terms into any or all of the available fields. See the Alerts Search Tips section for additional search features.
  7. Select All Sources or the individual sources you want to search.
  8. Save Alert.

Creating alerts from search

To create an alert from your search, go directly to your Alerts homepage by clicking the "Create alert from this query" link on the search results page. The information entered into the advanced search page will automatically populate the fields on the alert creation page. You can then edit the alert parameters. If you have not created an Alerts account, Alerts will remember your search information while you create and verify your new account.

Create alert from the query

Receiving alerts

Typically, the first alert email you receive will contain a full results list on your selected parameters. From this baseline, Alerts will de-duplicate all future results, returning only newly published results or those not previously found.

Receiving Alerts via email


Once you have received your first batch of results via email, you have the option of configuring your alert parameters for automatic delivery through an RSS or ATOM feed. All new results will automatically feed directly into your reader of choice as well as your mail server.

RSS Feed

Viewing results

Viewing results can be done directly from email, feed reader or from the Alerts results page. Clicking on a result link takes you directly to the corresponding result on the source's website.

Viewing results

Selecting, printing, and exporting results

Your Alerts results can be integrated with Selections from you regular search results for browsing, printing or exporting. As with the Selections option on the results page, checking the box next to the result will add it to your selections. These selections are available for your entire browser session.


Your Selections

Available export options on the Selections page include emailing results, citations export and printing. You may email results to any email address desired in text or HTML format. You may also download the selected results into a citation manager via an RIS formatted download.

Opening Citations

Storing alerts Alerts will keep up to 6 previous alerts for each specific query term. This is based on alert frequency, so you may access up to 6 years, 6 quarters, 6 months, or 6 weeks. Because the result link is a permanent link to the source result, it will be good until the source changes the link.

Storing Alerts

Modifying alerts

To modify an existing alert, simply select the alert from your Alerts homepage, and use the alert parameter fields to make your changes. Then press "Save Alert". Your next emailed alert will return new relevant results for your modified search criteria, but exclude previous results found for this alert. You will receive your modified Alerts mailing that day.

Deleting alerts

To delete an existing alert, simply select the alert from your Alerts homepage and click the Delete button in the upper left hand panel. A pop-up window will verify that you want to delete. You may cancel this process or click Delete to remove the alert. You will receive no future notifications on this alert.

Deleting Alerts

Alerts Search Tips

  • There is no need to include "and" between terms. By default, pages are returned that include all of your search terms. Frogs toads will return results with both frogs and toads included
  • Boolean - combine terms using "or", "not" For example, frogs or toads will return results with either or both words, frogs not toads will return results with frogs but not toads
  • Phrases - to conduct a search as a phrase or as an identical match, place quotation marks surrounding the terms such as "dark energy"
  • Parentheses - use them to establish the preferred search syntax such as (avian or bird) flu
  • Wildcards are generally supported, although a few databases will not process wildcards. For example, ecolog* will find both ecological and ecology
  • Commas are treated as literal characters, not separators or operators

Not receiving your emails?

  • If you do not receive a confirmation email within minutes of signing up, recheck the submitted information on your new Personal Archive page by logging in and selecting the New Alert button. Correct your email address by returning to your User Profile page and selecting the Change Email button.
  • If you do not receive an email Alert, your spam filter may be extremely sensitive. If this occurs, log in to your Personal Archive page to view the Alert instead.

Forgot your user name or password?

Select the "Forgot your password? Reset your password" on the Login page, and provide your e-mail address in the space provided. You will receive an e-mail with directions for resetting your password.

Need to edit your account information?

Click on the User Profile link at the top of the page after you have logged in to your alerts account. From here, you can edit your email address, user name and password. You can delete your alerts account. An e-mail will be sent providing a link to a Web page to confirm the e-mail address change.

Additional questions may be sent to