In this article I’m going to show you how to set up an alert using the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Now an alert is a wonderful tool that will help you keep up to date with the latest publications that fall within your search parameters. So, to do this you first need to make sure that you are logged into your ProQuest account. You do that by clicking on the person icon and logging in. If you don’t have an account and you need help creating that account please contact us here in the library however, I think a lot of you will find that clicking on that person icon and then clicking on and create an account the database does a good job of walking through that process.
So I have already signed into my ProQuest account and I’ve entered in a few search terms because I’m going to run a quick search. You can see I’ve got Baker University enclosed in quotation marks telling the database hey I need you to search for Baker University as a phrase. These words need to be together. They can appear anywhere within the search documents that you retrieve. I also want those documents to contain the word psychology and that can be anywhere. I’ve told the database that by using the boolean operator AND.
I had the option of AND, OR and NOT but I’ve chosen AND. I’ve also said that my results need to be things that have been published in the last five years. So now I’m going to go over here and I’m going to click on the search button to run my search. My search results contain 96 items and I’m gonna pretend like wow this is a great search. It’s exactly what I needed. I’m assuming that I have already gone through and looked at the items in the search and determined that and I say well this is great I’m doing this but I’m in the process of writing my dissertation or my thesis or whatever item I’m working on. I need to make sure I’m keeping my research fresh and up-to-date so an option that I can do is to set an alert.
So you see here I’ve highlighted Save Search/Alert. I’m going to click on that and I get to choose the option of create alert. So I’m going to click on it. It took a minute but it did pop up and you’ll see that it’s a create an alert box. Now I can name this alert so I’m going to name this Alert 1. You’ll see that it tells me what my search query is or my search words are it tells me the publication is limited by the last five years it shows me the databases that are being searched.
I scroll down here and I tell the database, hey this is where I want you to send the alert to. So it automatically filled in my Baker email account but I could also use an additional email address if I had one. I see that the subject line is here but I could switch it if I wanted to and then I can add a message to myself. Now step three I need to define my alert content. Do I want to have details of my search? Yes or no.
Do I want just the highlights? Yes or no. Also, I get to choose do I want just the newly published documents that relate to my search or do I also want to include some historical items. Typically I go with the newly published documents only. Then I set the schedule and I say hmm do I want this daily weekly monthly or quarterly. It’s up to you.
Then I set the top stop time so the default is two months but you could you know have it set up to a year. Okay now you also have the option of send a scheduled alert even where no new documents match my search. I’m not sure why you’d want to do that but it is an option. Then you just click the button to set your alert. Okay, that’s it.
If you have any questions or problems when setting alert using ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, please reach out to us at the Baker University library because we’re always here for you.