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Table of Contents (TOC) Alerts - using JournalTOCs (a free service)

Most scholarly journals publish a "feed" that contains the Table of Contents (TOC) for the most recent issue of the journal. TOC alerts update the feed each time a new issue of a journal is published. TOC alerts provide a convenient way to stay informed about current developments in an academic field. Below are instructions for setting up and using the JournalTOCs service, which allows you to select a set of journal titles, view the latest TOCs, export your TOC feeds to popular RSS feed readers, and to set up email alerts.

Would you like help using JournalTOCs? Would you like to know about other options for getting TOC alerts from your favorite journals? Ask A Librarian.

Viewing a TOC for a single journal

  • Go to www.journaltocs.hw.ac.uk
  • In the left pane, search for a journal title. Any matching titles will be listed.
  • Click a journal title to view the current TOC feed. From here, you can:
    • Click the red RefWorks icon to add the item to your RefWorks account.
    • Click an article title to view the article at the publisher's web site. (If you are off-campus, and encounter access restrictions, use the Passkey Bookmarklet.)

Monitoring TOCs for several journals

By registering with JournalTOCs, you can keep a list of your favorite journals (MyTOCs), and easily view the latest TOC feed for each journal.

  • Go to http://www.journaltocs.hw.ac.uk
  • Register for a free account using the link in the right pane.
  • Once you are logged in, the right pane will show your MyTOCs list.
  • To add journals to your MyTOCs list: Search for a journal title in the left pane and then check the box next to the title you want. It will automatically be added to your MyTOCs list.
  • In addition to searching for specific journal titles you may also: search "articles by keyword" to identify journals that contain articles that might be of interest to you; browse journal titles by publisher; browse journal titles by subject.
  • Your MyTOCs list in the right pane will grow as you add more journals.
  • To view the TOC feed for any of your journals, click the journal title.

Now you can easily revisit the JournalTOCs web site later to check up on the latest TOCs for the journals that you have selected. (Note that the JournalTOCs web site only offers the latest TOC for each journal, and does not archive older TOCs.)

Exporting TOC feeds to your favorite RSS feed reader

JournalTOCs allows you to export your MyTOCs feeds so that you can use the more advanced features offered by other feed readers. For example, Google Reader allows you to view older TOC feeds (not just the most recent), and also allows you to search across all your feeds.

To export your MyTOCs list:

  • Go to www.journaltocs.hw.ac.uk
  • Log in to view your list of journals. (If you don't want to register for an account, you can also build a temporary list of JournalTOCs without having to log in.)
  • In the right pane, select the journals that you want to export.
  • Click the link "Save to Export my "MyTOCs"".
  • Save the mytocs.opml file to your computer.

This OPML file is basically a list of your TOC feeds, with the journal titles and web addresses. This file can be easily imported into many different feed readers. For example, to import into Google Reader:

  • Log in to Google Reader (You will need a Google Account to use Google Reader.)
  • In the lower-left corner, click "Manage subscriptions".
  • Click the "Import/Export" tab.
  • Click "Choose File", and browse to the OPML file that you saved. (see above)
  • Click the "Upload" button, and soon your journal titles will appear.

For more help with Google Reader, view these introductory videos.

Exporting TOC feeds to your e-mail

JournalTOCs also has an email alerts feature, which will send you an email message every time a new TOC for any of your JournalTOCs journals becomes available.

  • Go to www.journaltocs.hw.ac.uk
  • Register for a free account using the link in the right pane
  • Once you are logged in, the right pane will show your MyTOCs list.
  • To activate the email alerts feature, simply click on the box next to "Email Alerts is On."

Alternatively, many publishers offer the option of subscribing to TOC via email. To do this, visit individual publisher sites and sign-up for TOC.

Trouble Accessing an Article?

If you ever run into access restrictions when trying to view the full journal article, try using the Passkey Bookmarklet.

Need More Help?

Would you like help using ticTOCs? Would you like to know about other options for getting TOC alerts from your favorite journals? Ask A Librarian.