Current Awareness – Setting up Search Alerts

Online library resources make it easy to keep up with new developments in your research area.  You can save searches and have results emailed to you or subscribe to RSS feeds from publishers, literature databases, and web search engines.  This post has quick instructions for setting up topical search alerts for four key resources:

Free registration is required in most cases.    A guide with more detailed instructions for setting up alerts in these resources and others  is available here.  For assistance setting up alerts in these or other resources, contact your librarian.

Engineering Village

Engineering Village is not just for engineers!  It includes Compendex, Inspec, GeoRef and GEOBASE, and is an excellent source for literature on for environmental sciences and ecology, and even some archaeology.  For an email alert, registration is required, but you can create RSS feeds without registering.  To create an alert, perform your search, then click either “Create alert” for email alerts or “RSS feed” to generate the RSS feed link.   Engineering Village also includes the National Technical Information Service (NTIS, government reports), US and European patents.

Google Scholar
You do not need a Google account to create an email alert in Google Scholar.  To create an alert, perform your search, then click “Create alert” on the left side of the screen.  You can enter any email address into the alert form; Google will send a verification link to that address which you must click to begin receiving alert emails.  You can receive up to 20 results per email, and results are emailed as items are indexed in Google Scholar.  Only email alerts are offered, not RSS feeds.  Each email includes an “Cancel alert” link.  Google Scholar indexes new journal literature from many diverse sources very rapidly and captures grey literature which many traditional databases exclude.  More information about Google Scholar alerts is here.  Because Google Scholar searches full text, it is possible to mine for specific words or phrases within papers, which you cannot do in traditional databases.   This can be helpful if, for example, you want to track use of your online data or specimens from your collection in the literature.

Another way to stay current using Google Scholar is “My Updates.”  If you create an account and add your own publications to your “My Citations” profile, the “My Updates” link will retrieve publications that are similar to your own publications.  Click here to learn how to set up your Google Citations profile.

Scopus covers the physical, life, health and social sciences  and includes journals, conference papers, and books.  For an email alert, registration is required, but you can create and subscribe to RSS feeds from searches without registering.  Perform your search, then select either “Set alert” for an email alert or “Set feed” to create an RSS feed from the search.  You can subscribe to the RSS feed using one of the options offered in the Scopus interface or your favorite feed reader.  To add the feed to your Outlook account, copy the feed URL from Scopus, then in Outlook right click on “RSS feeds” (below your mail account), select “add a new RSS feed,” and paste the URL into the box.

Web of KnowledgeWOS
Web of Knowledge is a suite of core databases covering a wide range of topics.  Included in this resource are Web of Science, Current Contents Connect, Biological Abstracts, CAB AbstractsZoological Record and more.   Register with Web of Knowledge to save searches and create alerts.   To create an alert, perform your search, then click “Create Alert” to save the search and create an email alert.  RSS feeds are automatically created when you create an alert.   It is not possible to save searches for Web of Knowledge “all database” searches;  alerts must be set up in each database separately.  Your registration also allows you to create a “Researcher ID” and a researcher profile which you can use to share information about your work.

You can subscribe to an RSS feed using your favorite feed reader, or you can add the feed to your Outlook account, where it’s almost just like email.  To add a feed to Outlook, copy the feed URL from the popup window in Engineering Village, then in Outlook right click on “RSS feeds” (below your mail account), select “add a new RSS feed,” and paste the URL into the box.  For more information on RSS feeds, see Using RSS Feeds to stay current.

(This post is an update of a post made to this blog in November 2012.  The update reflects changes in user interfaces for some of the resources, and includes a link to the alerts LibGuide.)

Posted in INHS, ISAS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Library resources, Prairie Research Institute, Tips, TOC alerts, Tools | 1 Comment

Lewis and Clark Fund: A Unique Funding Opportunity for Doctoral Students Engaged in Field Work and Specimen Collection

The American Philosophical Society’s Lewis and Clark Fund is accepting proposals from doctoral students engaged in field studies in a wide range of disciplines–including many directly relevant to the work of the Prairie Research Institute.   If your graduate students are engaged in field work and collection of specimens, please share this with them!

“Through its Lewis and Clark Fund, the society will award grants of up to $5,000 to doctoral students for exploratory field studies that include collection of specimens and data to provide the imaginative stimulus that accompanies direct observation. The program supports projects within disciplines that have a large dependence on field studies, including but not limited to archeology, anthropology, biology, ecology, geography, geology, linguistics, paleontology, and population genetics.”

Awards of up to $5,000 will be granted.  Proposals are due February 1, 2015, with letters of support due January 31, 2015.  For further information, see the full RFP (link below).

Posted in Archaeology, Biodiversity, Collections, Funding opportunities, INHS, ISAS, ISGS, Prairie Research Institute | Leave a comment

NSF Geospace Environmental Modeling program RFP

Full proposals for the National Science Foundation Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences’ Geospace Environmental Modeling (GEM) program are due October 15, 2014.

“The Geospace Environment Modeling (GEM) program is a broad-based, community-initiated research program on the physics of the Earth’s magnetosphere and the coupling of the magnetosphere to the atmosphere and to the solar wind. The purpose of the GEM program is to support basic research into the dynamical and structural properties of geospace, leading to the construction of one or more global Geospace General Circulation Model(s) (GGCM) with predictive capability.”

The program funds 8-12 new awards each year at $750,000, depending on fund availability.   See the links below for further information.

Posted in Atmospheric science, Funding opportunities, ISWS, Prairie Research Institute | Leave a comment

Simons Foundation – Targeted Grants in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems

The Simons Foundation invites letters of intent for their Targeted Grants in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems program.

“The program is intended to foster a culture of theory-experiment collaboration similar to that prevailing in the physical sciences by supporting the development of mathematical models that explain classes of experimental results and suggest new directions for experiment, as well as research aimed at testing theoretical ideas and expanding their reach.”

Awards are typically for 3 years at up to $200,000/year, and the Foundation intends to make 4 such awards each year the program is offered.   Letters of intent (3 page project narrative plus biosketch) are due September 30, 2014.  Full proposals, if invited, will be due January 31, 2015.

Posted in Funding opportunities, INHS, Prairie Research Institute | Leave a comment

New Citizen Science LibGuide published

The Prairie Research Institute Library has a new Citizen Science LibGuide available. Citizen science allows volunteer non-scientists to participate in data collection and analysis for scientific projects. The guide includes links to existing projects, both nationally and in Illinois.

For a list of other guides developed by the Institute’s librarians, visit

Posted in Citizen science, INHS, Institute Highlights, ISAS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Library resources | Leave a comment

Michigan Journal of Sustainability Calls for Abstracts for Special Edition Focused on Climate Adaptation Initiatives in the U.S.

The special edition will focus on adaptation and resilience-building activities taking place across scales, systems, and sectors, with a particular focus on techniques for bridging the science-policy-practice divide. At this time, the Michigan Journal of Sustainability is accepting abstracts as well as full manuscripts for consideration. The call for abstracts provides more details about the Journal and the abstract submission process.

Please note that this Journal is an open-source, web-based resource where both traditional full-length articles as well as non-traditional submissions, such as pictures or short videos, are encouraged. The deadline for abstract submission is September 3, 2014.

For more information, visit:

Posted in Calls for papers/presentations, Climate change, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS | Leave a comment

U.S. Geological Survey Announces “Climate Matters” Newsletter

“Climate Matters” is a new semi-annual publication featuring current activities in the U.S. Geological Survey Climate Research & Development Program. The newsletter highlights recent research findings and their relevance to societal needs, as well as issues of importance for resource managers, policy makers, and the general public. To view the first issue, visit

Posted in Climate change, INHS, ISGS, ISTC, ISWS, Publications | Leave a comment

Environmental Curricula Grants

Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation logo

The Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation offers Environmental Curricula Grants of up to $1500 to “empower and encourage students to become involved in solving environmental and social problems, promote thoughtful and appropriate analysis and understanding of the natural world, and make informed decisions through the emphasis and application of basic ecological principles.”  All types of organizations, including schools, non-profits, and government agencies are eligible to apply.  Single page pre-proposals are due September 14, 2014, and full proposals (if invited) will be due September 28, 2014.

Posted in Environmental education, Funding opportunities, Prairie Research Institute | Leave a comment

OSTI Conducting Pilots with National Labs, DOE-Funded Authors in Preparation for Launching Public Access Gateway to Scholarly Scientific Publications

Via the July/August 2014 issue of the OSTI Newsletter.

As part of its preparations for launching a public access portal to scholarly scientific publications resulting from Department of Energy (DOE) research funding, the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is collaborating with a subset of DOE national laboratories and authors on pilot projects designed to help OSTI and members of the DOE Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP) learn more about what will be entailed in collecting accepted manuscripts from DOE-funded authors.

OSTI is developing the DOE public access gateway in response to a February 22, 2013, memorandum, “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research,” issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The OSTP memo called on federal science agencies that spend more than $100 million a year on research and development (R&D) to develop and implement public access plans for making accepted manuscripts and peer-reviewed scientific journal articles resulting from agency research investments publicly available in a timely fashion.

By statute, OSTI is the DOE office responsible for collecting, preserving, and disseminating scientific and technical information (STI) emanating from DOE R&D activities.  A DOE policy directive on “Scientific and Technical Information Management” requires DOE offices, contractors, and grantees “to ensure that STI is appropriately managed as part of the DOE mission to enable the advancement of scientific knowledge and technological innovation.”

As provided in the DOE directive, OSTI spearheads the DOE STIP, a collaboration of STI managers and technical information officers from across the DOE complex charged with identifying, collecting, archiving, and making accessible the results of DOE-funded R&D.  The DOE STIP network includes STI liaisons from DOE programs, field, site, and procurement offices, national laboratories, and research facilities.  Together, OSTI and the DOE STIP have a well-developed program in place to identify and provide access to DOE STI, including technical reports, patents, conference papers, theses/dissertations, technical software, books, and scientific multimedia, through a sophisticated submission system and a collection of search tools.

Now, OSTI and the DOE STIP are working together to develop and implement standard operating procedures for managing the intake of accepted manuscripts as a central element of DOE’s public access solution.  OSTI is conducting pilots with several DOE national laboratories to learn more about how authors interface with publishers’ article submission systems and when during those workflows accepted manuscripts are available.

The scholarly publications process varies widely from publisher to publisher, and the sophistication of the systems continues to evolve.  Through pilots involving DOE-funded authors at participating labs, OSTI and the DOE STIP expect to increase their knowledge of manuscript submission practices, and that promises to facilitate implementation of public access to scholarly publications across the Department.

DOE’s implementation of public access will begin after the DOE Public Access Plan is finalized and approved – and once the beta version of the DOE public access portal that OSTI has been preparing is launched.

Posted in Government information, ISGS, ISTC, Open access | Leave a comment

EPA Solicits Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Grant Proposals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a solicitation for a second round of Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Grants. EPA will award grants totaling up to $4.5 million to eligible shoreline cities to fund green infrastructure projects that will improve Great Lakes water quality.

This year, shoreline cities with a population greater than 25,000 and less than 50,000 will be eligible to apply for green infrastructure grants of up to $250,000. Last year, EPA awarded Shoreline Cities Grants totaling just under $7 million to 16 cities with populations greater than 50,000.

“This is an opportunity for more Great Lakes shoreline cities to obtain funding for green infrastructure projects,” said Region 5 Administrator/Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. “These GLRI grants will be used for green infrastructure projects that reduce urban runoff and sewer overflows that foul beaches and impair Great Lakes water quality.”

Cities can use the grants to cover up to 50 percent of the cost of rain gardens, bioswales, green roofs, porous pavement, greenways, constructed wetlands, stormwater tree trenches and other green infrastructure measures installed on public property. Detailed eligibility requirements are available at

More information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is available at

Posted in Funding opportunities, Great Lakes region, ISTC, ISWS, Water | Leave a comment