Keeping up to date

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With so much information available, it is vital that you keep up to date with current publications and developments in your research field. There are a number of techniques and research tools that can help you. These pages provide details of how to stay current with different types of publications as well as general research tools.

For help with literature searching contact your Academic Liaison Librarian

Research tools

There are a number of research tools to help you track and access new research in your area.

  • Libkey Nomad is a browser extension that provides instant links to full text content for articles as you do research on the web. It works with Brookes Library and open access resources to find the fastest path to content. To set it up select the ‘Browser Icon’ for the browser you are using and select ‘Oxford Brookes University’ from the drop-down menu.
  • Libkey IO enables you to go from a DOI or PMID (PubMed id) to an article in one-click. Just type the id into the single search box, eg 10.1016/j.jormas.2017.12.010 to access a PDF or link if available. Libkey IO searches Brookes resources as well as open access.
  • Alert services. Many resources, such as databases which enable access to a huge variety of journals and other publications, journals and other resources provide an alert service enabling you to be track new research in your area. The information on these webpages provides details for different types of resource.

Keep up to date with journal articles and journals, including Preprints

Many electronic resources offer an alerting service which allows you to specify which topics, authors and/or journals you are interested in. You will then be alerted by email or Web feed (RSS) when new information becomes available.

Below are details of a selection of key research tools which offer alerting services. There are many other databases and ejournal collections which also provide alert services, including: databases on the EBSCOhost and ProQuest platforms; Sage Premier Collection; Cambridge University Press journals. Check the help options on each platform for information.

  • Browzine is an ejournal browsing platform providing access to Oxford Brookes Library ejournals. You can browse for journals by subject, keyword or title and access the full text of current and past journal articles. Keep up to date and set up your own bookshelf on Browzine.. Add your favourite journals and these will be tracked for new content. Articles can be saved to read later, downloaded or exported to reference software, including EndNote.
  • Journal TOCS is the largest free collection of scholarly Table of Contents covering many subject areas. You can follow the journals of your choice by ticking the checkboxes available in Search and Browse results. You will then receive alerts when new issues of your followed journals are published.
  • Our Course resource pages give details of resources specific to your subject discipline, including databases which allow you to set up alerts for your searches and receive emails when new content is added. If you need any further help or advice, please contact your Librarian.
The Web of Science Service is an excellent research database. 
  • The core collection provides access to the key research journals in many subject areas in the Sciences, Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities. Content is updated weekly.  There is extensive help on the database on using all the features. 
  • Alert services. Register with the Web of Science database to set up alerts to your searches as well as citation alerts. 
  • You can search across all the journals in the database and you can also do a cited reference search - see below. 
  • Web of Science also includes Conference Proceedings.
  • The Web of Science products also include the reference management service EndNote, and the Journal Citation Reports.

Cited reference searching on Web of Science

  • Citation searching is an excellent way of finding relevant research on a topic or research area by looking at an article’s references and who has since used that article as a reference. It allows you to follow research both forwards and backwards in time
  • When you carry out a search on Web of Science, each result, to the right of the details and summary, provides a link to the list of references and to a list of citations (who has cited the item) where applicable.
  • You can also carry out a cited reference search for an author, journal or book title. Their guide provides further details 

Journal Citation Reports on Web of Science

  • The Journal Citation Reports enable users to evaluate and compare journals using citation data drawn from scholarly and technical journals from publishers. It includes Science, Social Science and Technology subject areas. You can access it from the Web of Science database. Select Products from the menu bar and click Journal Citation Reports. A guide to searching the Reports is available from this link


A preprint is a full draft research paper that is shared publicly before it has been peer reviewed. These reports are shared publicly through preprint servers, enabling researchers to share their results quickly and freely. Do be aware that  credibility concerns have been raised about some papers as they haven’t been peer reviewed. Examples of preprint services are listed below.

  • bioRxiv is a free online archive of preprints in Biology and the Life Sciences. The archive has links with PLOS - publisher of a number of open access journals in the sciences and medicine.
  • medRxiv a preprint server for Health Sciences.
  • SocArXiv is an open archive of papers in the social sciences, enabling social scientists to upload preprints, working papers and published papers.
  • ArXiv provides open access to preprints in a number of subject areas, including physics, mathematics, computer science, statistics and electrical engineering.
  • NutriXiv a preprint service for nutritional research across life sciences, medicine and health.
  • PsyArXiv a preprint service for psychological research, maintained by The Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science
  • OSF Preprints provides access to preprints in a broad range of subjects including Arts and Humanities, Life Sciences, Business and Architecture.
  • Preprints a multidisciplinary preprint platform.
  • SSRN a multidisciplinary platform which includes preprints.

Keep up to date with books

Library Catalogues are key resources to help you locate details of published books and monographs. Main examples include:

  • Oxford Brookes LibrarySearch: provides details of all our resources. Once you have carried out a search you can extend your search beyond Brookes by clicking the option 'Libraries Worldwide' on the left side of the screen. Select 'Books', located below 'Formats' to narrow your search to books. Use the date options to find the most recent publications
  • British Library catalogue provides details of the huge rage of resources available in the British Library including books. Select 'Advanced search' to narrow your search by material type and a date range to identify recent publications.
  • Library Hub Discover: provides access to details of materials held in many UK national, academic and specialist libraries. Use the advanced search feature to narrow your search to books and by date.
  • Oxford University Library Services collections: provides details of the University of Oxford's resources. Select advanced search to narrow your search to books and by date..
  • Publisher information - the websites of individual publishers provide useful details of books in your area. Many publishers enable you to set up alerts so you will be notified of new and forthcoming books in your areas. 

Conferences and Conference Proceedings

Conferences in your subject may provide you with current research, or new methodologies and developments in your field of interest. Conference papers or presentations can be compiled together and these are referred to as conference proceedings.

Future conferences - what, where and when

  • Conference Alerts is a free service which enables you to keep up to date with conferences taking place in your field. You can search for forthcoming conferences by topic or by country and view brief details and links to further information including a contact person. You can also subscribe to a free email alerting service to receive updates of conferences which match your research interests.
  • H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences online includes conference announcements.
  • The websites of learned societies & organisations can provide details of conferences and events in their field.

Tracing published conference literature - the following online services enable you to trace conference papers and proceedings

  • Conference proceedings citation index is part of the Web of Science database service. It provides references to publications from conferences, symposia, workshops, and conventions in the areas of science, technology and medicine.  When you search the Web of Science, your results will include any conference publications, If you want to search conference proceedings only, click the drop-down arrow next to 'All' on the black menu bar above the search box and select the products you want to search..
  • Google Scholar enables you to search for scholarly literature from a variety of sources. For conference papers, add the word 'conference' to your search and a year if required, for example, 'conference genetics 2020'.
  • Databases in your subject area may also include conference publications. To find key databases in your research area, have a look at the relevant Course resource pages


The library's webpage on Theses provides information on finding theses written by other people both within and outside Oxford Brookes. You can track abstracts of theses and link to some full text.

Social Media

There are a variety of social media and networking services that can provide valuable sources of information and support collaboration and knowledge sharing and help you keep up to date with new developments. Most services are web-based and provide various ways for users to interact, such as chat, email; file sharing; blogs and discussion groups. Examples include:

  • JISCmail: email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities, select by category or from a list.
  • academic social network, enabling free sharing of papers
  • ResearchGate: academic social network for science and research. Connect, collaborate and find scientific publications, jobs and conferences.
  • LinkedIn: professional and social network
  • Our page on X: social network, includes discussions about research and papers.