Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

Journal tips: finding what’s popular

Posted by Megan on June 4, 2010

Now that online publishing is the norm, journal providers are expanding their features for allowing readers to stay up-to-date and discover new articles.

For example, many publishers offer functions that allow you to see other articles that have cited a given work. This is incredibly useful for chaining ahead in time from a pertinent work. Google Scholar, Scopus, JSTOR (using Google Scholar) and Web of Science all offer this, among many others. See an example below.

Most journals and databases also allow you to set up RSS or e-mail alerts when content is added or when new items match particular search criteria. Check out ticTOCs alert service for an easy way to get table of content alerts. (This Common Craft video offers a simple explanation of RSS.)

One journal publisher with a special alert feature is Sage, which allows you to set up alerts for the most-read articles in a given journal. For example, I have set up alerts for the journal Comparative Political Studies. Every few weeks, I get an update in my feed reader with the most-read articles that month.

An account is required to set up search alerts for particular criteria, but it is not need for “most-read” alerts. More help with setting alerts in Sage is here.

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