On 15 June 2010, Google scholar introduced a new tool: an email alerting service a couple of clicks away when you have discovered a search which matches your research interests. You can find written “how tos” on both Google Scholar blog and SLAW: the Canadian Legal Co-operative’s blog and doubtless elsewhere. It seems intuitive so I’ll go the visual route ..
On the beta homepage for Google scholar you will notice the link through to their blog on the new service
To create an alert, first enter in a search term with filters if you want and you will notice the results page now has an envelope under the Google scholar logo
If the search term has produced the sort of returns you were hoping for, and it is a topic you would like to keep an eye on over time, click on the envelope and ..
After clicking, create alert you get a progress report: note the alerting service will not be activated until you respond to the confirmatory email
Doubtless more finesse to the service will come with time: already the Google blog suggest as a way to satisfy any scholarly vanity “To get updates when any of your papers are cited, it’s often easiest to set up an alert for all mentions of your name in text” e.g., [“Me Me”] within the quotes! And a way to keep up with the competition or your tutor! “To learn of new publications by your colleagues, try registering alerts for their names with an “author:” operator, such as [author:”Vaughan Lowe”].”
Note the confirmation email (with the link you have to click to confirm) also has a link to cancel the alert, so it would probably be a good idea to keep this email on file somewhere so you can turn the tap off again!
And please remember there are special legal indexing services available to OU students via OxLIP+ which should be used in conjunction with Google if you are to be a true scholar