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Making a citation alert means that you will be automatically kept up-to-date when a certain article or a particular researcher has been cited. This means that the automatic searches are targeted on the references used in the new articles coming to the database. With citation alerts, a researcher can easily follow citations of their own articles, or citations other researchers have received. By following citations of interesting articles, you can also find new articles related to your subject.
Document Citation Alerts
With citation alert, you can follow citations of a specific article in the database where the citation alert has been placed. In a few databases like ScienceDirect, Scopus and Web of Science it is possible to get the citation alert option as an alert service and as an RSS feed. When an article you are following has been cited in a new journal article in the database, you get the information according to your choice, either through an alert service to your email or as an RSS feed.
In the ScienceDirect database, a citation alert can be placed either as a Citation Alert or an RSS Citation Feed. The Alert service requires registration.
Image source: Science Direct (Elsevier) <http://www.sciencedirect.com/> 8.4.2009.
Web of Science permits specific document citation alerts.
Image source: Web of Science (Thomson Reuters) <http://www.isiknowlwdge.com/> 8.4.2009.
Author Citation Alerts
In the Scopus database, citation alerts allow you to follow citations from a certain researcher's work using an Author Citation Alert. The user is informed when that researcher is cited in another article in the same database.
In the Scopus database, you can order an author citation alert on the author details page, in the 'Cited by' section through the Email-alert link. In the example, the alert is on publications by Jorge E Hirsch.
Image source: Scopus (Elsevier) <http://www.scopus.com> 16.7.2013.