Using Email Services to Keep Up-to-Date With HIV and Hepatitis C
Keeping up-to-date with new developments in HIV and hepatitis C can be as easy as checking your email. Electronic bulletins and alerts, offered by numerous organizations, send the latest news and research right to your inbox.
Email News Bulletins
Email news bulletins gather current and notable news and events from different sources and share them with you in quick, easy to digest summaries. They save you the trouble of having to search for those key stories yourself, and can be delivered as often as every day or week, or less frequently, such as once a month.
Each news service has a different focus and covers different topics and can be a great way to learn about new research, current events, and tools and resources. Signing up for these free email news services is as simple as providing and verifying your email address. The news services offered by the following HIV and hepatitis C organizations can be trusted not to open up your inbox to spam emails:
If you'd rather get research straight from the source, table-of-contents alerts let you know when journals publish new research articles. You can sign up for table-of-contents alerts through journal publisher websites where you'll usually have to create a free account first.
Tables of contents are released whenever a new journal issue is published, which can be weekly, monthly, quarterly or less frequently. You can also sign up for advance or early publication notices that let you know when articles have been accepted and published online before appearing in an upcoming issue. Advance-access alerts will come whenever the journal has content to share.
Table-of-contents alerts are a great way to learn about the release of new research, but they don't give you full access to articles. Unless an article is available for free, without a journal subscription or paying for the article you can usually only read the abstract. Journals with research on HIV and hepatitis C prevention include:
Automated Search Alerts
For a more customized kind of email service, you can set up an automated search alert. An automated search alert will run an online search you've created at regular intervals to find and send you the most recently posted results on your topic.
Online article databases are a great place to set up automated searches. PubMed, a huge database maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, is a great tool for finding research articles from health-related journals. To create an automated search alert in PubMed, you need to create a free account first. From there, you will be able to save your searches and choose to have new results emailed to you. You can also choose how frequently you'd like to receive search-result updates -- monthly, weekly, or daily.
Another source for automated search alerts is Google Scholar. It searches for scholarly literature, including research articles, which can be found on the websites of publishers, universities, professional societies and other online sources. After running a search using Google Scholar, create an alert for your search to get ongoing emails with new search results. You can also change the settings in Google Scholar to search in French and other languages.
As with any kind of database or online search, the better your combination of search terms, the more accurate and relevant your search results will be. Check out the Prevention in Focus article on tips on how to create a successful search strategy. Like table-of-contents alerts, unless an article is freely available online, PubMed and Google Scholar do not provide access to full articles.
Keeping on Top of Your Email Bulletins and Alerts
Setting up email bulletins and alerts is one thing, but finding the time to read them all is another. Keeping up with all the information you're receiving can seem daunting but it's not impossible. Try some of these strategies for staying on top of your emails:
The bottom line is to find a system that fits your workload and habits. Keeping up-to-date is meant to help, not hinder, your prevention work. With the right strategy, a little investment of time will be well worth the new information and knowledge you will gain.
Erica Lee is the Information Specialist at CATIE. Since earning her Master of Information Studies, Erica has worked in the health library field, supporting the information needs of frontline service providers and service users. Before joining CATIE, Erica worked as the Librarian at the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT).
This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. It is a part of the publication Prevention in Focus: Spotlight on Programming and Research. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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