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National Scholarship Support

Use this guide to help get your research started when applying for competitive national and national scholarships.

Stay Up to Date on Your Research Topic

Instead of checking websites and blogs over and over for updates, you can have those updates delivered directly to you. Depending on the type of resource, this information will come to your e-mail or to a tool called an RSS reader. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Most people use RSS by collecting many feeds for Web-based information they are interested in for later reading.


Each RSS reader has a different look and feel, which affects everything from their interface to how they notify you about about new content. Take a few minutes to try some different readers before settling on one to use.

Once you have decided which to use, you can subscribe to RSS feeds from journals, news sites, or blogs that you check regularly that use the technology. When you subscribe to a feed, your reader will file that information away and notify you when new content has been posted.

Many research databases allow you to save your search as an alert.  This means that your search continues to run, even when you're not in the database, and new results are sent to you by e-mail or RSS. This is a great way to keep up with new developments in your research area.

To sign up for alerts, you'll just need to create a free account within the database. The sign-up link is usually found in the upper right corner of the database window.

In addition, many publishers allow you to set up Table of Contents (TOC) alerts. You select the journals you are interested in, and when a new issue is published, you receive an e-mail with that new issue's table of contents. Check the help documentation in your favorite database for information on setting up alerts or get in touch with a librarian (information at left).