Skip to main content

Civil Engineering & Material Science: Finding Information & Keeping Current

Referencing & EndNote

For information on referencing and using EndNote to manage your research information visit:

RSS Feeds

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. A n RSS “feed”, contains a summary of content or headlines from a website – title, description and link. 

RSS icons

To use an RSS feed, you must have an RSS reader. Most RSS readers are available to download free on the Web and can be desktop readers or web-based options. Examples include:

Advantages of RSS feeds include:

  • Save time
  • Convenience – have all your updates in one portal
  • Keep updates separate from email
  • Don’t usually have to give out personal details

Other Methods of Keeping Current

Other methods of keeping up-to-date include:

Email Discussion Lists – Search and browse for relevant lists at and

Preprint Servers – E.g. for Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics

YouTube –

Podcasts – Search for academic podcasts in iTunes and listen via your PC or on mobile apps for various devices including Android smartphones

Slideshare – Find presentations on the latest research from academics and conferences

Finding Research Information

There are many appropriate resources that you can use to find relevant information to allow you to conduct your research and publish its outcomes. The Library website ( contains links to important databases (see below). The UL Institutional Repository (ULIR) contains the University’s research publications and other research outputs.

The Library Search allows you to search for physical items in the Library but also searches most of the library's electronic resources as well as publications in the ULIR.

The slides from the Realising Your Research Value workshop on "Finding Research Information & Keeping Up-To-Date" are available below.

Keeping Up-To-Date

Keeping up-to-date and current with research in your field can be very challenging. It is useful to set up accounts for any database you use regularly such as Web of Science and Scopus. This allows you to save searches and articles and keep track of your literature searching. You can also set up email alerts or RSS feeds for searches to keep you up to date with any new articles that match the search criteria. Table of content (TOC) alerts for journals can also be set up in email and RSS formats (see to set up TOC alerts).

Social Media

Other ways to stay current is to follow people in your research field via their blogs, Twitter or by joining or creating groups on academic social networking sites such as Mendeley, ResearchGate, and the Social Science Research Network.

In addition to blogs from individuals, there are also blogs from respected journals and academic institutions such as:

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has produced lists of academic tweeters by discipline and has also produced a guide to using Twitter for academics.

Links to Useful Resources