The Next Generationof Auto AlertsLinda M. Hartman, MLS, AHIPAndrea Ketchum, MLIS, AHIPHealth Sciences Library SystemUniversity of PittsburghAnnual Meeting of the Medical Library AssociationMay 2011
Objective Analyze existing methods of current awareness ◦ Examine delivery and content of alerts from bibliographic databases, journal websites, Twitter and RSS feeds through MyYahoo
Background Sifting through the literature for pertinent information gets harder everyday. Is it easier to pull the information when you need it or have it pushed to you when it comes out? Alerts can help strike a balance. What method works best for you and your patrons?
Methodology• Table of Content alerts• Chose journals using Journal Citation Reports 2009 Science Edition • Selected 22 diverse categories • Ran Impact Factor and Total Cites reports for each category • Selected top 2 and middle 2 journals for each report • 156 unique journal titles
Methodology• Chose Databases using Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory • Used Academic OneFile, Academic Search Premier, MEDLINE • Did not use subject specific databases (e.g., CINAHL, BIOSIS)
Methodology• Databases • Set up email alerts and saved searches• Journal Web Sites • Set up email alerts • Set up RSS feeds• MyYahoo • Created RSS feeds from journal Web sites• Twitter • Followed 21 journals from January 1 – April 20, 2011
Email Alerts: Database vs Journal DeliveryEmail TOC alert via Database Email TOC alert via JournalJ Clin Nurs (EBSCOHost) J Clin Nurs
Email Alerts: Analysis RECEIVED VIA JOURNALS 145/156 92.9% Journals offering Email Alerts 73/145 50.3% Successful receipt of Email alerts 57/73 78.0% Content: New Issue Only Alerts 10/73 13.7% Content: Prepub Only Alerts 6/73 8.2% Content: New Issue AND Prepub Alerts Delivery: Scheduled Delivery Management: through Publisher or Journal Web site
Email Alerts:ProblemsWhen signing up for Email alerts througha journal Web site, the publisher maymanage eTOCs for all of its journals froma central page. Sounds good! This was a problem: 10 of the 24 checked journal alerts/notifications never arrived via Email.
Different journals are updated at different times1. Journals like The Lancet “lose” content that is older than 2 days old. Click on the journal title link for older content on journal’s web page .2. Some publishers (Wiley) package multiple journals in one generic RSS feed.3. Some RSS feeds do not have journal title as heading of module (“current issue”)
MyYahoo: Analysis RECEIVED VIA RSS TO My.Yahoo 140/156 89.7% Journals offering RSS Alerts 132/156 84.6% Successful receipt of RSS alerts Delivery: Continuous Delivery Management: self-managed via My.Yahoo
Methodology - Twitter• A search was conducted for a Twitter account for each of the 156 journal titles • Journal and Publisher Web sites scanned for links to Twitter • Twitter search box queried using People tab• Statistics for each account recorded • All Tweets (messages) for each account • 1/1/2011 – 4/20/2011 • Number of Followers (subscribers) • Content Tweeted
Results• 21 of 156 journals (13.5%) on Twitter • Content • 10 of 21 journals provide new issue TOCs • Promotional use • Conferences, internal news, other announcements • Prepub articles • Not used for discussion or “breaking news” • Some journals “follow” a few other Twitter accounts.
Tweets by Category 1/1/2011-4/20/2011400 377350 Surprise! Not much Twitter activity in Computer&Artificial300 Intelligence category! 280250 202200150 101100 9050 45 25 24 31 0
21 journals with Twitter feeds sorted by # followers Tweets Impact Twitter 1/1/2011- Study Category Journal Title Factor #Followers 4/20/2011 Clinical Medicine/CAM New Engl J Med 47.050 22,576 111 Clinical Medicine/CAM Lancet 30.758 12,801 94 Research & Physiology Nat Med 27.136 11,221 218 BioMolecular Cell 31.152 2,695 29 Rehab & SportsMed Phys Ther 2.082 2,472 115 Nutrition & Pharma Nat Rev Drug Discov 29.059 1,832 24 Rehab & SportsMed J Orthop Sport Phys 2.482 1,217 5 Specialty J Bone Joint Surg Am 3.427 1,071 19 Psychiatry Arch Gen Psychiat 12.257 898 10 Specialty CA-Cancer J Clinic 87.925 434 1 BioMolecular Mol Med 5.020 419 60 Computer & Artificial Intell J Am Med Inform Assn 3.974 364 18 Public Health Injury Prev 1.453 310 31 Specialty Ann Rheum Dis 8.111 274 25 Rehab & SportsMed Med Sci Sport Exer 3.707 192 160 Research & Physiology J Exp Med 14.505 136 25 Psychiatry CNS Spectrums 2.197 107 80 Research & Physiology J Physiol-London 4.764 76 14 Computer & Artificial Intell Auton Robot 1.235 59 7 BioMolecular Dis Model Mech 3.304 56 12 Research & Physiology J Clin Invest 15.387 20 120
Results• Difficult to determine which method is fastest or best for getting latest information • Articles from one issue can appear in several different email alerts (weeks apart) in the same database • Poor success rate when subscribing to Email Alerts through a journal Web site • Better success rate when setting up RSS through MyYahoo, but publishers sometimes package journals into a generic feed. • Lack of archiving/indexing in Twitter • Journals do not Tweet every article or issue
ExampleArticles from one issue can appear in severaldifferent email alerts (weeks apart) in the samedatabase: New England Journal of Medicine
Discussion• Limitations include • Rapid changes in media – Twitter is not yet comparable • Publishers combine some journal alerts, making those difficult or impossible to include in analysis• Which method is best? • May depend on comfort level of user • Ability to check Twitter and MyYahoo daily • Keep in mind it may take more than one to get everything
Advantages DisadvantagesEmail Email • Can wait to look at • Inbox can get cluttered results, citations still there and unruly, requires time to manage setup and follow-up • May arrive in bulky text files • Time difference between databases
Advantages Disadvantages• MyYahoo (iGoogle) • MyYahoo (iGoogle) • More compact and • Harder to see what browsable than traditional “came in” 3 weeks ago RSS readers; customizable • Need to stay current • Automatically renews itself • Can share pages with patron via email
Advantages Disadvantages• Twitter • Twitter • Forward to email or post • Limited journal items of interest to other participation social media • Journals unsure of best • Instant access to current way to use at this time articles or journal news
Future Research• Examine author searches and subject searches • Identified using Clustermed to find top 10 MeSH and authors for each journal• Examine in greater detail differences in reliability and content between alerts delivered in various formats.