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Industrial Relations & Human Resources Library

A guide to resources available through the Industrial Relations/Human Resources Library and the University of Toronto Library System

Document Your Search

Documenting your research strategy enables you to create reusable queries. This best practice can provide a time-saving way for you to keep up-to-date with new research in your field and be alerted to articles as they are published. Some databases even provide functionality for saving and exporting your queries. 

What to Track

When documenting your search query, it is helpful to not only keep track of your boolean search string but also a variety of other information to ensure your search results can be replicated in future. This can include:

  • Which database you used to conduct your search
  • Your search keywords and any boolean terms used (eg: "work" AND "the digital age")
  • Any filters that were used in your search (eg: publication date, format, subject, online only, etc.)
  • The number of results and the date the search was conducted

UTL has a guide on tracking your research.

Email Alerts

Email alerts can enable you to stay up-to-date with the latest research on a particular topic, providing you with automatic updates sent directly to your inbox on a daily or weekly basis, from a variety of databases and search engines.

Creating Email Alerts

To make search alerts via Google Scholar:

  1. Enter your search terms in the search (eg: industrial relations).
  2. In the side bar on the left side of the screen there is a link that says “Create Alert”.
  3. Within the Create Alert page, fill out each box (some or all may already be filled out for you).
    1. In “Alert query,” this box is where you put the desired search terms that will be sent directly to your inbox.
    2. “Email” is where you put your email address that you want the alerts sent to. If you are logged into Google, this field will be automatically populated with your Gmail address.
    3. “Number of results” is the number of results you wish your email alert to have. There are two options, either “show up to 10 results” or “show up to 20 results”.
  4. Once you have completed each entry on the screen, press the red button that says “CREATE ALERT” to begin receiving the alerts.

To create email alerts within ProQuest, create an account. Once you have successfully created an account and logged in, you can then set up an alert:

  1. Perform a search on the database using the desired search terms (eg: "industrial relations")
  2. In the results page, click "Save search/alert," which will open a drop down list.
  3. Within the dropdown list, click on "Create alert".
  4. Complete the form that pops up on the screen.
  5. In order to manage your alerts, view the "My Research" account page under the "Alerts" tab.