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CINAHL: Saving searches and alerts

What are saved searches and alerts?

Saved searches:

  • CINAHL provides the option to save a search so that you can re-run it at a later date and retrieve an updated set of results. 
  • By saving your search, you create a record of your keywords and when you re-run the same search, you won't need to enter the keywords again (though you will have the option to adapt your original keywords.

Email alerts: 

To help you maintain current awareness of your topic, CINAHL also provides the option to set up an email alert that will inform you of:

  • New articles on your topic that have been indexed by the database since your original search (i.e. based on your keywords).
  • The latest articles by an individual author (where indexed by the database).
  • The latest tables of contents from a journal (although you may prefer to set up a journal alert in the relevant journal website instead).

How to save searches and create alerts




  • Before saving searches and setting up email alerts: connect to CINAHL via the Library website or Library Catalogue (when you connect, you may be required to enter your University username and password). Once connected, click 'sign in' at the top and log on to your personal (free) CINAHL account. If you don't have one, click sign in and then sign up (complete the registration and click sign in again). 
  • Setting up email alerts: once signed into your account, run a search and then click share just above your search results (to the right). Click email alert, select the frequency with which you receive email alerts and enter the email address(es) to which the alerts should be sent. Finally, click 'save alert'. 
  • Retrieving previous email alerts: (should you wish to edit or delete them): sign into your CINAHL account. Then, click the 'search history' option just below the search boxes and click 'retrieve alerts'. To delete an alert, click/select the box next to an individual alert and click the 'delete items' button just above. 
  • Saving searches: once signed into your account, run a search and then click the Search History link (just below the search boxes). Then click 'save searches / alerts', enter a name for your search and select either save search (permanent) or save search (24 hours). Finally click 'save'. 

Retrieving saved searches

Retrieving and re-running saved searches (e.g. at a later date): sign-in to your CINAHL account. Click the 'search history' option just below the search boxes and click 'retrieve searches'. Find the relevant saved search. If you wish to delete it, select the box next to its title and click the 'delete items' button just above. If you wish to edit it, the edit button is located just below the title.

Combining saved searches: you can also combine sets of results from saved searches in the Search History section. To do this, select the box next to each search that you wish to combine. Then click one of the following:

  • Search with AND: this retrieves a set of those results that overlap between the searches that you are combining. 
  • Search with OR: this retrieves ALL results from across multiple sets of results (regardless of whether each result appears within one set or multiple sets).