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Information literacy toolkit Skip to content Help your students to develop essential skills in information literacy

Keeping up to date

A rollerdex

Being able to find the most current information in a subject area is particularly relevant to those students taking higher level modules, especially if they are doing their own research for extended TMAs or projects.

These materials will help your students to:

  • understand the importance of keeping up to date in their subject area
  • be aware of a range of methods and online tools to help them keep up to date

There is a good introductory page on the Library site explaining the various methods of keeping up to date.


Suggested level: 2 and beyond


The Library provides access to a range of resources to enable your students to search for the latest newspaper material. The Nexis UK newspapers database is available from the Library’s 'News sources' page, and there is also a Nexis UK help sheet.

  • Discuss the importance of keeping up to date with students, referring them to the information on keeping up to date on the Library site. Then ask them to use Nexis UK to search for recent articles on a current topic of relevance – either something in the news or connected to their next TMA.

Suggested level: 3 and beyond

Alerting services

Zetoc Alert is a multi-disciplinary database of 20,000 research journals, and 16,000 conference proceedings. The service allows you to set up alerts to be emailed the tables of contents of newly published journals, or set up author/title alerts. Zetoc RSS enables you to set up RSS feeds for journals in Zetoc.

Zetoc Alert is available from the Library’s 'Databases' page. There is a Library guide to Zetoc alerts, and a Zetoc help sheet. Blackwell's book shop offers a similar email alerting service for new books. Many subject-specific journals and databases, such as Academic Search Complete, also offer this kind of facility.

  • Ask your students whether there were any key authors, journals or specific subject searches they found useful when finding resources for their TMAs. Ask them to use these resources to create some relevant alerts based on those useful sources, which they may then want to share with their fellow students.
  • If students are preparing an extended essay or project, encourage them to set up an alert as soon as they have identified their topic.