Update: Librarians! How you can empower your researchers to find, and be alerted to, the very latest scholarly papers – and get the credit for it. Watch this video:
Below, I’ve listed 30 freely available websites and services that help anyone find details of new scholarly research. These are services which link directly to research papers or reports or conference papers or pre-prints or theses which have appeared in journals or subject/institutional repositories, or elsewhere; and especially services which produce RSS feeds, because I’m always interested in RSS, as RSS can be an excellent facility for keeping up-to-date.
These are not services which only allow you to Search, but rather ones which let you browse, or which provide lists of, or information about, new research output, with links to the actual papers.
I’d appreciate your help with this post. If you know of any important sites and services that I’ve missed, please add them in Comments to this post.
The first few sites showcase, in various ways, new research:
1. AlphaGalileo calls itself “…the world’s independent source of research news.” This service distribute news releases and other information from science, health, technology, the arts, humanities, social sciences and business to the world’s media. As well as News releases, they also have Publication announcements which link to new scholarly books and journal articles. The news releases and publication announcements can be read by anyone, however there are subscription rates for organisations to post news. Over 1,700 research organisations use the service – mostly organisations and the larger publishers, rather than individual researchers. There are RSS feeds for broad subject areas, regions and countries. For example, this is the feed for Applied Science.
2. ScienceDaily offers readers news, on a subject basis, about the latest scientific discoveries. It is freely accessible with no subscription fees. It contains over 65,000 articles – here’s one example, entitled Emulating Nature for Better Engineering, which covers how UK researchers describe a novel approach to making porous materials, solid foams, more like their counterparts in the natural world, including bone and wood in the new issue of the International Journal of Design Engineering. That particular story was reprinted by ScienceDaily from materials provided by Inderscience, via AlphaGalileo (see above). Other articles are produced from materials provided by institutions, organisations and others directly to ScienceDaily or through press release services. ScienceDaily also has RSS feeds, for example Electronic News.
3. Futurity aggregates research news produced by a consortium of participating universities, on a broad subject basis (Earth & Environment, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology, and Society & Culture). Sometimes, the news items link to published articles, and sometimes they link to research centres or groups. The university partners are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Russell Group, and the Group of Eight. There are currently 62 universities in the consortium, which includes the following UK universities: Cardiff University, King’s College London, University College London, University of Leeds, University of Nottingham, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, and the University of Warwick. Futurity has RSS feeds, e.g. Science & Technology.
4. Some newspapers publish details of new research and sometimes link to the relevant scholarly papers. One example is The Guardian which has an Education: Research section. There’s an RSS feed.
5. The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest is a subject-specific blog providing reports on the latest psychology research papers. “The editor trawls hundreds of peer-reviewed journals looking for the latest findings from across the breadth of psychological science. The aim is to write accessible, accurate reports on those studies that make an important contribution, that are relevant to real life, timely, novel or thought-provoking.” Sometimes, but not always, there are links to the original research articles. Being a blog, there’s a feed.
6. Some of the Research Councils provide details of publications which have arisen from the research that they fund. One example is the ESRC Research Catalogue which contains details of over 100,000 research outputs (such as books, conference papers and journal articles). The list of publications which you can filter by year and thereby get new ones is not very user friendly by itself, as titles are not included in results. It is possible (just) to create RSS feeds for keywords and output by content type.
7. BioMed Central provide a number of subject gateways which highlight the latest articles they have published in those fields. Examples are RNAi Gateway, Bioinformatics & Genomics Gateway, Cancer Gateway, etc. I can’t see any RSS feeds for these gateways, but see below at #20. Some other journal publishers have similar subject-based showcases.
The next few sites provide journal article current awareness services:
8. JournalTOCs is the biggest and best freely available collection of scholarly journal Tables of Contents (TOCs). Over 17,000 journals from over 900 publishers are covered, and this includes over 2,600 Open Access journals. You can search and browse for journals, and then see their latest tables of contents, and if you register (free), you can save keyword searches and get RSS feeds for them, plus email alerts.
9. Journal ToCs is a different, and much smaller service, to JournalTOCs mentioned above. Journal ToCs is slow to load, and their About page is empty. Details of recent articles are arranged, a few at a time, according to broad subject categories. Content is taken from a handful of publishers (ACS, AIAA, Elsevier, Nature and Springer). There are RSS feeds.
10. CiteULike, which is a is a free service for storing, organising and sharing scholarly papers, has a CiteULike Current Issues section which has details of over 13,500 journals. You can search or browse for journal titles, and then scan recent articles in these journals. You can also get a CiteULike feed for each journal TOC.
11. FeedNavigator downloads nearly 7,000 RSS feeds published by numerous websites (many, but not all, are from journals) and aggregates their content into subject areas, so that you can view a ‘river of science’ in chosen areas. There are RSS feeds for subjects. For example:
Library & Information Science
12. MyJournals.org displays details of the latest articles in issues of about 570 popular science journals. You can view all of the most recent ones, or select from various subject areas. There’s an RSS feed of new items, and feeds are available for each subject.
13. My Favorite Journals is a free service built on Scopus data that lets you select journals of interest from 10,500 titles, and these are then added to ‘My Favorite Journals’, then you can select any of these favourites to view the latest Table of Contents. I can’t see any RSS feeds.
14. Ebling Library, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have produced a list of journal feeds by topic consisting of RSS feeds for 3000+ biomedical and health sciences. Click on ‘Contents’ and you can view the latest Table of Contents for each journal.
15. PhilPapers is a directory of online philosophical articles and books by academic philosophers. It monitors journals in many areas of philosophy, as well as archives and personal pages. They also accept articles directly from users, who can provide links or upload copies. As well as New journal articles, which has an RSS feed, there are Category lists with Most recently added entries, with feeds, e.g. Epistomology, Philosophy of Mathematics, and Metaphysics.
16. PeRSSonalized Medicine is an aggregator of quality medical resources in social media which lets you scan the latest articles (and news and blogs) in various areas of medicine. There are feeds, e.g. for Leukemia journals, Sleep journals, etc.
17. Infotrieve Tables of Contents lets you scan journal Tables of Contents by general subject area. I’m not sure how up-to-date some of the TOCs are, and some appear to be not available. I can’t see any RSS feeeds.
18. The Trip database of clinical research aggregates thousands of new articles each month, and makes available lists of new content by various clinical categories. For example, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Urology. I can’t see any facility for RSS feeds, though.
19. Amongst other features, Ingentaconnect lets you browse journal publications from multiple publishers by subject – e.g. Biology/Life Sciences, Chemistry, Medicine, etc, and then select individual journals for which you can view the latest contents. RSS feeds for journals are normally available.
20. Many of the larger journal publishers list their journals and include links to their RSS feeds for the latest contents. Examples are BioMed Central (feed links on journal home pages), Wiley (feed links on journal home pages), Emerald (feed links on journal home pages), NPG, Inderscience (feed links on journal home pages), PLoS (feed links on journal home pages), Springer (feed links on journal home pages), etc. The American Physics Society (APS) provide RSS feeds for their journals plus Topical cross-journal feeds, which cover a few topics of strong current interest and draw from all of their journals – e.g. Plasmodics, and Metamaterials. AIP provide an RSS feed of latest published articles via Scitation. Here are the RSC Publishing feeds.
The next few sites can be used to find new content in subject or institutional repositories (IRs):
21. DRIVER (Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research) is best for searching content from nearly 300 repositories, but if you filter searches by Publication Date and Document Type, you can get, for example, a list of recent articles. I can’t see any facility for getting an RSS feed of such results.
22. E-LIS. E-prints in Library and Information Science features a list of recent submissions on its home page. There’s also a feed.
23. CogPrints, an electronic archive for self-archive papers in any area of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Linguistics, has a Latest Additions page, and an RSS feed of new items.
24. New Economic Papers (NEP) is an announcement service which filters information on new additions to RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) into edited reports in about 100 subject areas related to economics. The reports are available as RSS feeds, for example:
The majority of the full text files are freely available.
25. arXiv.org is a highly-automated electronic archive and distribution server for research articles. Covered areas include physics, mathematics, computer science, nonlinear sciences, quantitative biology and statistics. Daily updated RSS news feed pages are available for all active subject areas within arXiv. The URL for each category (whole archive or subject class) is constructed by appending the category name to http://arxiv.org/rss/. For example, the URL for the RSS page for the Computer Science archive is http://arxiv.org/rss/cs. Thus, some of the main feeds are:
26. The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is a good place to find new research in the social sciences, but unfortunately, it doesn’t support RSS feeds except for author pages and rankings. You can see the most recent additions by going to the Browse eLibrary page and clicking on the ‘i’s and selecting ‘Most recent’. e.g.
Entrepreneurship Research & Policy Network
Financial Economics Network
Sustainability Research & Policy Network
27. NARCIS, the gateway to scholarly information in the Netherlands, provide a feed of new Open Access publications.
28. The aim of RIAN is to harvest to one portal the contents of the Institutional Repositories of the seven Irish university libraries, “…in order to make Irish research material more freely accessible, and to increase the research profiles of individual researchers and their institutions.” RIAN only harvests IRs, and thereby gives access to Open Access content. I can’t see a subject approach, and it’s not that easy to get the latest content, but if you use the Advanced Search you can select keywords and the option to limit by date, e.g. ‘engineering’ in all fields; Year = 2011; and then get a feed for the results. You can also filter by publication type to get journal articles. So, it’s possible, just, to use this for current awareness.
29. Not all of the many hundreds of individual Institutional Repositories have feeds of new items. For those that don’t, you’d have to visit each site individually, for example ORCA, a digital repository of research publications from Cardiff University, has a list of latest additions.
Here are a few examples of RSS feeds of new items from UK IRs:
Abertay Research Collections
Bournemouth University Research Online
Loughborough University Institutional Repository
Open research Online
UCL Discovery: Latest additions
The following can be used to find new theses
30. The DART-Europe E-theses Portal provides access to over 200,000 full-text research theses, and there is a list of those recently added, plus an RSS feed for new entries. In Australia, Trove don’t have a way to browse new theses, except that there is a feed for new Australian theses. NDLTD also provide a feed. NARCIS: The gateway to Dutch scientific information have a feed for new theses.
Whilst the availability of the full text of items found using the above websites may depend on whether they are Open Access, or on individual of institutional subscriptions, all of the tools themselves are freely available. This is why I have not mentioned services such as Zetoc RSS, which isn’t available outside UK HE, or subscription services such as Current Contents Connect®, and TOC Premier EBSCO, and various alerting services available through many subscription databases. I also didn’t include services such as Academia.edu and Mendeley, which require registration before you can get started, but which can help to keep current.
I thought it would be easier to find key sites for finding new scholarly research papers – my first approach was to search Google for ‘current awareness university library’ – but many of the library webpages I found didn’t list most of the websites mentioned above.