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Graduate Workshop 2011: Find Information while you Sleep: Database Alerts

Database Alerts

                        What is a database alert?

Database alerts let you run a search and get alerts when new content is added to the database that fits your search. So, for example, if I search for "concrete bridges" in Compendex and create an alert, I will be emailed every time an article about "concrete bridges" is published and added to Compendex. (For searching tips, look at the box below this one on the page.)

How can I set one up?

Go HERE and follow the instructions.

There you can search by the name of the database (e.g. Summon, PubMed) or search by the name of the provider (the company we pay for the database - e.g. Ovid, Ebsco). 

Touse or open the database that you want, you can search for it here, browse an alphabetical list here, or browse databases by subject.

Search Tips

These search tips will work in most databases. There are some databases that they will not work in, but they will come in handy with most databases. You can always look at a database's advanced search options to learn more.

What you search What it will do

The * is a placeholder for letters. So this search will find "dog" and "dogs."


Because the * is a placeholder for letters, this will search for "woman" and "women."

dogs NOT puppies If you put a "NOT" in front of a word, it will exclude any results with that word. This search will find everything about dogs, but ignore any results that are about puppies.
dogs AND cats This will search for dogs and cats. If something is just about dogs, it won't be included.
dogs OR cats This will find anything that is about dogs and anything that is about cats. This is like combining a search for "dogs" with a search for "cats."
"dogs are awesome" The quotation marks will search for that exact phrase. If an article is called, "dogs are so awesome," it would be ignored.

Be sure to always look at the advanced search page of a database. From there, you will be able to search by author, journal, etc, and limit your results to article published during certain years.

When looking at an article, the database will probably have hyperlinked tags describing the article. If you click on them, you will find articles about that topic, by that author, or whatever the tag describes.

More tips here.

Contact for Assistance

Ashley Nelson
(573) 882-1670

Ellis Library Reference
(573) 882-4581
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