Using journal alerts to support your Continuing Professional Development

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This learning activity looks at a simple way to keep up to date with all the papers that can hepp support your continuing professional development, using journal alerts and alert services.

There are many ways to keep up to date with research that affect your role and personal development. You can regularly use PubMed or Scholar to find recent papers using keyword search, you can rely on others to do the work for you with literature reviews, share the job with Journal clubs or using Journal alerts you can have the papers and research you want delivered to your inbox.

Task 1 Select a journal or number of journals or subject areas to alert you to new papers

In the first instance to get used to Journal Alerts it might just be best to set-up any journal you subscribe to or that you regularly use or read. 

Task 2 Alert review and further action

Here it is worthwhile asking yourself a number of questions;

  • Looking at the alerts you have received how many papers have you followed up of interest to you?
  • Did you look at papers faster than usual i.e. from early publications?
  • Were there too many or too few alerts or relevant papers from your alerts?
  • How many papers have you followed up and utilised in your CPD?
  • Are you having difficulty accessing journals?

 In thinking about your CPD make notes about the papers and their impact on your practice and on patients. If too many alerts, you can refine your subject area choice with a publisher to narrow down further. If too few alerts, you will need to either expand the number of journals, redefine the areas of coverage or use a wider collection from services like JournalTOCs.

On completion of this learning activity you will have:
  • Set up and used journal alerts to support your personal development
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