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Civil Engineering Research Guide

Current Awareness

The Engineering field is in a constant state of evolution, with the introduction of new technologies, processes, and ideas. It can be difficult to stay up to date with new developments, but there are some handy tools that can help.

This guide contains some options you can use to stay current with the literature.

Key Terms


Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication (RSS) is a web feed tool that allows users to syndicate data automatically.

Saved Search

Some databases allow users to save searches they have carried out. This tool will also return any new items which fall under said search.

Search Alert

Search Alerts are similar to saved searches. Whenever a new item is added to the database that falls under a saved Search Alert, an email is sent to the user.

Search History

A search history is a list of all the searches a patron has carried out in a database.

Table of Content (TOC) Alert

Table of Content (TOC) Alerts are similar to search alerts, except they are for specific publications on certain databases. By setting up a TOC Alert, a user can keep up to date on new articles and issues from any chosen journal.