Search and Journal Alerts

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What are Alerts?

Alerts,  as defined by EBSCO, are:

  • an efficient and easy-to-use method for pushing updated EBSCOhost [and other databases] search results out to co-workers, patrons, faculty or students
  • automatic email notification to specified recipients whenever a new journal issue has been added to a database
  • support for RSS feed designations, such as newsreaders and web pages, where Search and Journal Alert results can be regularly posted and read at the reader's discretion
  • time-saving results management tools to help users get the most from EBSCOhost [and other databases] database content

For example: An instructor wants to keep up-to-date on simlulations in education.  The instructor can create a  SEARCH ALERT in the database(s) of their choice so that they are informed as soon as new information is published.

For example: A faculty member is very interested in the journal Aggression & Violent Bahavior and likes to review the Table of Content of each issue to see what is in the current literature.  The faculty member can create a JOURNAL TABLE OF CONTENTS ALERTS in the appropriate database so that they are automatically informed each time a new issue is published.

In the following sections, we will focus on these two types of Alerts: Search and Journal.  These alerts can be delivered two ways, via email or through an RSS feed.  This will be detailed in the subsequent sections, focusing on database aggregators, EBSCO and ProQuest.

Creating Personal Accounts

Before creating any search or journal alerts, we recommend that you create a personal account in both EBSCO and Proquest.  You will then have a personal folder that you can use to save search results, persistent links to searches, search alerts, journal alerts and web pages.

To create a personal account, go to the applicable EBSCO or ProQuest database and follow the steps outlined on the following sites:

EBSCO: How Do I Create a My EBSCOhost  Account?
ProQuest: Create Account 

The EBSCO databases you can choose from are:
Academic Search Complete
Bibliography of Native North Americans
Biomedical Reference Collection
Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Reference Centre
Business Source Complete
CINAHL Complete
eBook Academic Collection
MEDLINE with Full Text
Military and Government Collection
Regional Business News
SocINDEX with Full Text

ProQuest databases you can choose from are:
Canadian Newsstream
CBCA Business & Current Affairs 
Criminal Justice (CJPI)
NCJRS: National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts

Search Alerts

You may set up an alerting service in any of the EBSCO or ProQuest databases that our Library subscribes to. This means you can have the results of a search you created automatically emailed to you. You determine how frequently the search will be run as well as the length of time the search will continue.

Note: You can search multiple databases at the same time by using Choose Databases (EBSCO) or All Databases (ProQuest).


1. Go to the EBSCO database of your choice and sign into your EBSCOhost account.

  • To register - click on I'm a new user.
  • The Create a new account window appears.
  • Fill in the form and save.

2. Create a search.

  • Connect to one of the EBSCO databases.
  • Click on the Advanced Search tab and do a search, or
  • Click on the Search History/Alerts tab then Save Searches/Alerts.

3. Save the search as an alert

  • The Saved Searches/Alert window appears.
  • Fill in the required information.
  • Under Save Search As, Click on Alert.
  • Fill in the form and save.
  • To prevent EBSCO Alerts from being routed to your SPAM or junk mail folder, adjust your email to accept messages from EPAlerts@EPNET.COM.

For additional information read the documentation provided by EBSCO called How to Use Search AlertsCreating a Search Alert in EBSCOhost - Tutorial (YouTube), or My EBSCOhost Folder - Tutorial (YouTube).


1. Go to the ProQuest database of your choice.

  • Click on My Research to create account; or, to access existing account.
  • To register - click on Create a My Research Account.
  • The Create a My Research Account window appears.
  • Complete the form and save.

2. Create a search.

  • Connect to one of the ProQuest databases.
  • Check top-left corner of Proquest site: it may have selected extra databases - just de-select those you don't want.
  • Click on the Advanced Search tab and do a search.

3. Save the search as an alert.

  • Click on Create an Alert (top right of Results List).
  • Complete the form and save it (ensure Alert Frequency is what you want).
  • You will receive an immediate email confirming the alert.
  • To prevent ProQuest Alerts from being routed to your SPAM or junk mail folder, adjust your email to accept messages from

For additional information read the documentation provided by ProQuest or view the videos at: Create a Search Alert or Save Searches and Create Email Alerts (YouTube).

Journal Alerts

As part of this service you can also have the Table of Contents (TOC) automatically emailed to you, as soon as a new issue of a Journal is released. This is not limited to the journals we subscribe to (as indicated in our Library Catalogue) but rather to the journals indexed in the EBSCO or ProQuest databases we subscribe to.

FIRST:  Search the JIBC Library Journal Titles to see which database includes your chosen title.

If your requested journal is in an EBSCO database:

1.  Go to the available EBSCO database.

2. Click on Alert/Save/Share.

3. Click on CREATE ALERT.

4. Sign-in to your account or Create an Account

4. Complete the brief form.

5. Click on SAVE ALERT.

For additional information visit How to Use Journal Alerts or Creating a Journal Alert in EBSCOhost - Tutorial (YouTube).

If your requested journal is in a ProQuest database:

1. Go to the ProQuest database of your choice.

2. Sign into your My Research Account (or, create one)

3. At the top left, click SEARCH

4. At the top, select PUBLICATIONS

5. Search or browse for the journal title you want

6. Click on the appropriate journal title

7. Select Set-up Alert.

8. Complete the brief form and click Create Alert.

For additional information visit How to Create a Publication Alert.

 If your journal is not available in EBSCO or ProQuest?

  • Go to the journals website.

  • Search the page to site to see if they offer an alert service via email or RSS feed.

  • If so, follow their instructions to create an alert.

REMEMBER: If our Library does not have access to the full-text, we will obtain a copy for you via ILL (Interlibrary Loan).  Send your detailed request to

RSS Feeds for Alerts

Alternatively, you can set up an alert to be sent to you via RSS Feed.  This is a fast and simple way of having the alerts sent to your email address or to an RSS Feed Reader to which you subscribe.  RSS feeds are denoted by this symbol:
Note that if you choose an RSS Feed (rather than an e-mail alert), it will most often automatically route to your RSS Folder in Microsoft Outlook and to your IE Favourites-Feeds Folder.

In most cases, you must actually click on the RSS Feed URL to activate the Feed; or, to copy it into your Feed Reader.

For more information on RSS please visit these sites:

EBSCO: How to Use One-Step RSS Search Alerts
ProQuest: Resource for College Libraries: RSS Feeds (RCL:RSS) (YouTube)
What is RSS?
What is RSS?  RSS Explained
RSS in Plain English (YouTube)

Google Alerts

Email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic by setting up Google Alerts.

Last updated February 8, 2019