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ScienceDirect is a database from Elsevier Science that provides abstract and full-text access to over 2500 journals from several publishers. Nearly 4 million full-text articles from 1995 to present covering a wide variety of subject areas and disciplines are available. While the focus clearly is on science, technology, and medicine, there are many humanities and social sciences journals covered as well, so the name is a little misleading. You can create search alerts (new matches to your search criteria), journal issue alerts (table of contents of new issues), and citation alerts (when an article you select is cited by new articles added to the ScienceDirect database).

First you will need to create a personal login. (Use the Not Registered? link on any page.) After your have successfully created your account and logged in, you can begin creating alerts.

Begin with the Search tab at the top of the ScienceDirect homepage. After constructing a well focused search, use the Save as Search Alert link at the top of the search results. Name your search, verify the email address the alert will be sent to, and choose the frequency the search should run, then Save Alert.

To create a journal issue alert, browse or search for journals of interest. On a browse screen, simply check the box to the far right of the list labeled Vol/Issue Alerts. When searching for titles, click through the title in question to see the homepage for that journal. On the homepage, look for the Alert me about new Volumes/Issues link and simply click that link to add the journal to your list of alerts. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds for new issues or volumes.

To receive an email telling you when an article you select is cited by new articles added to ScienceDirect, search or browse a journal issue to find an article of interest. Click through the article's title to see the article record screen, which will list the article's citation information, abstract, outline and other information about the article (and will contain a link to the full text if it is part of the Virginia Tech subscription). At the top right of the screen, look for the Save as Citation Alert link. Name your alert, verify the address the email will be sent to, and choose the frequency the alerts should be sent.

You can predefined topic alerts in a wide variety of disciplines. Use the Alerts tab and find the Topic Alerts link. Choose a broad discipline area from the popup menu, then choose one or more narrower disciples listed below. You can preview the contents of the alert with the provided links.

After you have received an alert...

You can encounter two issues in received alerts:

Inability to access the item off campus

Make sure you are either connected to the VPN or through Off Campus Sign In.For the VPN, be sure to select the option to send all traffic through the VPN. Emailed links rarely include access through Off Campus Sign In,. but you can install the LibX browser extension, then either right-click the link in your browser and choose to follow the link via Off Campus Sign In, or go to the link, then right-click the page and reload it through Off Campus Sign In.

Inability to access the item through the publisher's site

You may be alerted to a new publication through a publisher's site, but we have access through a different source. If you cannot access the item even using Off Campus Sign In or the VPN, search the Journal Title Database to see if the journal issue is available through a different provider. For journal articles not available locally, submit a request through ILLiad.