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Research Guides

Life Sciences Graduate Students - Research Tips: Databases & General Tips

Resources for Current Awareness Alerts




  • Most popular biomedical literature database.
  • Use a combination of MeSH terms and title/abstract terms for thorough, yet targeted, searches.
  • Save searches/create alerts in your MyNCBI account.

Web of Science

  • Good for topics that cross over into other sciences and technology.
  • Good for finding articles that cite an article.

Google Scholar

  • Recommended for capturing publications beyond scholarly articles (such as dissertations or reports) that cite an article.

PubMed Central

  • Recommended for full-text searches, especially looking for terms (cell lines, instruments, software) in the Methods section.


  • Use the “save query” button to track newly-funded NIH grants in your field or publications associated with an NIH grant number.

Altmetric It!

  • Bookmarklet you save to your web browser.
  • Click on the Altmetric It! Bookmarklet when viewing a PubMed reference or an article on a publisher’s website.
  • Request notifications of new mentions in social media, news sources, and policy documents.

Journal Publisher Websites

  • Look for an option such as “Alerts and Feeds” to receive the table of contents of each new issue by email or RSS feed.

Read by QxMD

  • App for keeping up with articles in your favorite journals.
  • Select UW as your institutional affiliation in Settings to link to full text.

Contact a Librarian

  Contact Diana Louden for assistance with:

  • Research Strategies and Databases
  • Current Awareness Alerts
  • Using Citation Managers
  • Research Support for Grant Applications and Publishing
  • Literature Reviews
  • Tools for Demonstrating Research Impact
  • Tracking Down Difficult-to-Find Information