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Library Guides

DRDP: Current Awareness

A guide for Doctoral Researchers at University of Westminster

Current Awareness

Keeping up-to-date with what's new in your research area is very important — use the links below to get started, and let us know if you have any recommendations we should add.

Recently published literature

  • Use JournalTOCs or Zetoc to set up email alerts for journals, so you are notified when new research is published matching your selected criteria
  • Set up citation alerts in Web of Science or Google Scholar to get notified whenever a piece of research you are interested in gets cited (video demonstrations: Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar)
  • Save your database searches and set up email alerts, so you are notified when new articles are published that match the search criteria (video demonstrations: Web of Science, Google Scholar)
  • For new book publications, check the individual websites of publishers and subscribe to their alerts. Use Publishers Global to find publishers in your discipline

Other alerts

  • JiscMail is the UK academic mailing list service. The mailing lists are themed around taught subjects, research areas, special interest groups and collaborative project activities
  • Conal Conference Alerts (all disciplines), WikiCFP (STEM) and H-Announce (humanities and social sciences) are three of many conference and call for papers alerts. NB: Beware of predatory conferences, which are a growing problem in academia. Think. Check. Attend. provides a useful checklist to determine if a conference is trustworthy

Connecting with other researchers

There are various platforms where you can create and maintain your academic profile, and use it to connect with other researchers. 

ORCID is the most highly recommended. It is a nonprofit organisation which provides you with a persistent digital identifier (your unique ORCID iD) that you own and control, to distinguish you from every other researcher. You can connect your iD with your professional information — affiliations, grants, publications, peer review, and more., ResearchGate and Mendeley are academic social networking sites where you can share and discuss research outputs (e.g. papers, conference posters, data and code). NB: You are advised not to share your publications via these sites, but are encouraged to upload it to our institutional repository WestminsterResearch instead. Sharing published work on these sites may be in violation of copyright.



The Thesis Whisperer blog is dedicated to the topic of doing a PhD and completing a dissertation

The Research Whisperer describes itself as "just like the Thesis Whisperer – but with more money"

The LSE Impact Blog is for anyone interested in maximising the impact of academic work in the social sciences and other disciplines


Twitter can be a powerful networking and current awareness tool. 

The Benefits of Social Media: 6 Twitter Tips for Graduate Students by Jonathan Reardon (PhD student at Durham University and the person behind the @AcademicChatter Twitter account) 


Accounts to follow:

@UniWestLib; @UoWPhDSociety; @UoW_Research;

see also this blog post

101 accounts every PhD student should follow


Hashtags to use/follow:

#phdchat#phdadvice#phd#acwri#phdforum#gradchat; #academicchatter