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Web of Science (All Databases): Saving searches and alerts

What are saved searches and alerts?

Saved searches: Web of Science gives you the option to save a search. You can then re-run that saved search at a later date (without having to re-enter all your search terms again) and you'll retrieve an updated set of results. Of course, you may want to modify or expand your keywords if you've developed your knowledge of a topic's terminology since your original search.

Email alerts: To help you maintain current awareness of your topic, Web of Science gives you the option to set up an email alert that will inform you of:

  • New articles on your topic that have been indexed by Web of Science since your original search (based on the keywords that you entered).
  • An author's latest articles (where indexed by Web of Science).
  • 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 alerts:

  1. Connect to Web of Science via the Library website or Library Catalogue (when you click on the link, you may be required to enter your University username and password). 
  2. Click the Sign In button in the top right-hand corner. 
  3. Click the 'Search History' icon of a curved arrow and clock. This is displayed within the black column to the left of your search results. 

    Save search history
  4. Within the 'current session' section is a list of your most recent searches. Next to the search that you want to save, click the 'Create an alert' bell icon. A dialog box appear in which you should enter a name for your search. Within the same box, you can opt to receive weekly email alerts of new articles that correspond to the same search terms. Finally, click 'Create'. 
  5. A confirmation message appears and it includes an option to change the frequency of your alerts by clicking 'manage alerts'. This takes you to a list of your alerts. Click 'more options' next to alert you want to amend and  options to change the settings to daily or monthly appear.
  6. An option to 'remove alert' also appears within 'more options'.
  7. To retrieve and re-run a saved search: next time you enter Web of Science, sign-in to your Web of Science account. Click the bell icon for alerts displayed in the black column to the left of your search results. A list of alerts will appear. Click the purple 'rerun search button'.

    You can also set up a document citation alert for a specific article. You then receive an email if the article is cited by another article in the future (if the citing article is indexed by Web of Science). To do this, sign in to Web of Science and enter the full Web of Science record for the article (click the article title in your list of search results). Click ‘create citation alert’ (displayed in the right-hand column).