Web of Science - Saved Searches

Web of Science is a useful tool for creating "Search alerts", whereby you will receive an email alert whenever new articles are added to Web of Science.  Usually these alerts come once a week.  Many other databases also offer this feature, but since Web of Science is multidisciplinary, it is a good starting point for helping you to keep current on the literature

Access Web of Science


See also the two-page flyer, How to use Web of Science:


Register for a Web of Science Account

  1. From the first Web of Science screen, click on the link to 'Sign-in.'
  2. Click on 'Register'.
  3. Enter the information required and Submit your registration.

Create Email Alerts Based on Topics, Table of Contents, or other criteria

If you are not already signed in, sign in.

Keyword (topic) search alerts:

  1. Click on Search, and create a Topic search in Web of Science.

    For example:
        ((apis mellifera or honeybee* or honey bee*) and (dance or dances or dancing))
  2. After you have run a search query, click on 'Save History.' This brings you to the Search History window where a list of all your recent searches will be displayed.

    Note: If you have created several searches, the email alert will only be run against your most recently created search (the one on the top of the search history). So you may need to re-type an earlier search to force it to the top. (Or, go to the Search box, and type the Set number of the search, which brings it to the top, e.g., type: #3.)
  3. From the Search History window, click on 'Save History/Create Alert.'
  4. Give your search a name, a description, and check the box "Send Me E-mail Alerts.
  5. Depending on your email program and needs, select an email format (HTML is recommended so you will be able to click on links in the email, and go to the record in Web of Science) and frequency (weekly is recommended, since that is how frequently Web of Science is updated).
  6. Click 'Save.' Now, each week, as Web of Science is updated, you will receive an email with the new citations that match your search strategy.

Table of Contents alerts:

The basic procedure is the same as described for creating topic searches, above. But now your search is based on the title of one or more publications (journals).

  1. Click on Search
  2. From the dropdown box at the end of a search box, choose Publication.
  3. Click on the magnifying glass icon, after the Publication drop down box. The Publication Name Index window will appear.
  4. Locate the title(s) of interest, either using the Browse or Find feature. E.g., using the Find option, I can search for all journals that have the stem ENTO in their title, by searching for Ento*.
  5. Click on ADD for any title of interest. This adds the titles to the transfer box at the bottom of the Publication Name Index window, and an OR between each title. Add as many titles as you need.
  6. Click on OK once all the titles of interest for this alert have been located. You will be brought back to the main search screen.
  7. Make sure all the other 'search for' boxes are empty.
  8. Click on the Search button.
  9. Click on Search History.
  10. Click on 'Save History/Create Alert.'
  11. Give your search a name, a description, and check the box 'Send Me E-mail Alerts.'
  12. Depending on your email program and needs, select an email format (HTML) and frequency (weekly).
  13. Click 'Save.' Now, each week you will receive an email with new results from your search.

Other types of Alerts from Web of Science (Contact us for further instructions, if needed.)

  1. Keep track of the work of colleagues or competitors by creating a search based on author names.

    Here’s How:
        As with the publication search, above, click on the magnifying glass icon next to Author to pick authors from an index.
  2. Keep track of publications from the University of Illinois.

    Here’s How:
        From the pull-down menu, choose to search by Address.

        (univ illinois and (urbana or champaign))
  3. Keep track of papers that are citing a particular paper.

    Here’s How:
        Find the article of interest in Web of Science. Click on 'Create Citation Alert.' Sign in if you aren’t already. Click on Done.