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Theology and Religion: Keeping Up To Date

Subject support from Library Services for staff and students in Theology and Religion

Table of Contents Alerts




Zetoc is a current awareness service created by the British Library and it gives access to over 29,000 journals and more than 52 million article citations and conference papers, from 1993 to present day. Zetoc is updated daily and it covers all subject areas.

Zetoc Alert

Zetoc Alert is a current awareness service that sends you email alerts matching the search criteria that you have provided whenever new data is loaded into the database. The searches may be for particular journals, for authors and for keywords from the titles of articles and papers.

For more information go to

Keeping up to date

When you are doing research it is important to keep abreast of developments in your subject area.  There are a number of electronic tools which can help you do this.

Among them are:

  • Mailing lists (eg. JISCmail, national academic mailing list system);
  • Email alerts (these are provided by most of the larger electronic indexing databases eg Web of Science);
  • RSS feeds (eg. Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.)

It is also worth attending conferences  where you can often hear about latest developments and make useful networks.

Setting up alerts on databases

Setting up alerts in ATLA (EBSCO)

Do a couple of keyword searches on ATLA

If you have been successful with a particular combination of keywords in finding the kind of references you want:

  • Click on the Save Searches/Alerts link below the Search History/Alerts heading;
  • Create an account with EBSCO (if you don’t have one already);
  • Fill in the Name of Alert/Search and Description fields. Check that the other fields have been ‘auto-filled’ correctly. Click Alert – further fields will appear. Complete these additional fields including frequency of alert, the period you wish to run the alert for and the e-mail address where you would like the alert sent. Click Save;
  • You will be sent an email at the frequency you requested showing any new items articles which have been added which matches your keywords.

Academic Skills Advisor Appointments

We aim to give you the confidence to use library and information resources independently to enhance your academic experience and achievement.

What we can do

Offer help, advice, training, support and documentation to students and staff undertaking research, project work, essays and/or dissertations.

Contact the Academic Skills Team at to arrange a 1-1 session - this may be conducted in person, via email, over the phone, or online via Skype. A typical session may include: 

  • Introduction to library services and resources
  • Identification of and training in using key databases and information sources in your subject area
  • Explanation of the principles of literature searching and help in constructing a search strategy
  • Troubleshooting complex/systematic literature reviews
  • Introduction to referencing software
  • Helping to keep you up to date with research

Appointments will generally last between 30 and 60 minutes, and will be initially provided up to 4 times per student, per academic year.

What we can't do

  • Conduct your literature search(es) for you
  • Offer any qualitative assessment of references found through a literature search
  • Write or proof-read your assignments
  • Offer an opinion on any mark that you might receive for your written work
  • Become involved in decisions relating to academic regulations, such as extenuating circumstances.

If you would like more information on skills such as academic writing, effective learning, note taking and presentation skills, please see the Academic Study Skills Centre. There is also advice for students with additional needs on the Disability and Learning Support site.

What we expect of you 

  • Notify us as soon as possible if you cannot attend a booked session. It's important that you do this so we can, if necessary, offer the session to someone else
  • Ensure that you arrive on time for the session
  • Prepare for a 1-1 session by reading the suggested links and ensuring that you bring any material suggested by the Academic Skills Advisor
  • Help us improve what we offer by using our feedback and evaluation system