By Beth Weil, Head Librarian, Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library, UC Berkeley

We now have access to a new method for keeping up-to-date on the impact of your research. As a result of CDL negotiations with ISI, you can now receive alerts in Web of Science at no charge. Below are some FAQs about alerts, based on information from the Web of Science web site.  Please let your colleagues and patrons know about this wonderful new service. Additional information can be found at:

Q: What is an alert?
A: An alert is an email service that sends you the results of user-created searches as new items are added to the database. All ISI Web of Science search histories may be saved as an alert.  This includes author names, topics, sources, addresses, and cited references.  Alerts are run against the latest week of data and the results are delivered to you via email once a week.  Your first five alerts will display on the blue sidebar.

Q: How do I set up an alert?
A: To set up a weekly alert in ISI Web of Science:

  1. First you must be registered as a user in Web of Knowledge.  If you are not registered as a user, switch to the Web of Knowledge homepage by choosing it in the pull down menu in the blue frame at the top of the Web of Science screen.
  2. Click on Register.  Your email address is your user ID.  If you are already registered as a user, just sign in on this page.
  3. Once you have registered or signed in, select ISI Web of Science.
  4. Perform your search.
  5. Click the Advanced Search button.  Then click the Save History button.  Under “save on the ISI Web of Knowledge Server,” enter a name for the alert.
  6. Check the “send me email alerts” box.  Enter your email address and specify the type of alert you’d like to receive.  Please remember that notify only will not contain any bibliographic information in your email.  Select biblio or full record to receive the results of your search via email.
  7. To finish, click save, then click done.

The name of your alert will display on the ISI Web of Knowledge page under “Open/Manage Saved Searches.”  In this area, you can update, renew, or delete your alert.

Q: Is there a maximum number of records that will be sent in my alert emails?
A: Yes. The maximum number of records that you will receive in an alert is 300.  Also, if your alert returns more than 100 results, these will be broken into multiple emails.  If you find that you are receiving this maximum in your alerts each week, consider editing your search history to make it more precise.  Or, you could create more than one alert, with each one containing some of the search terms in your existing search history.