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Library Services



ACM Digital Library

Guide to using ACM Digital Library, database of articles in computer science

Saving searches and creating alerts for a saved search

It is a good idea to save your search to run it again at a later date and so you have a record of your search strategy. You can also set up an alert, to receive an email when new articles matching your search criteria are added to the database.

  • You need to set up an ACM Digital Library account first. To do this, click on the register button on the top right hand menu on any of the ACM Digital Library search pages or webpages. You can use a personal or UCL email address, but if you use a personal email address you will still be able to log in after you leave UCL.
  • Then sign in using the personal account option to be able to save a search (this is in addition to logging in to ACM Digital Library using UCL username and password if you are off site).
  • Click on the Save search icon at the top of the results list. Name the search, choose if you want to set up an alert for this search, and if so how often you would like to receive an email for new results for the search. It will email you at the account you used when you registered. 
  • You can find your saved searches and alerts from searches by signing in, clicking on your name in the top right hand corner and selecting My Saved Searches from the menu.

Publication alerts

You can create an alert for any journal, magazine or newsletter available within the ACM Digital Library to get an email when new content is added. The easiest way to do this is to use the default home page search box (this search box is also on the top right hand corner of all ACM Digital Library webpages) for the name of the publication you want. When this starts to auto populate, click on the journal you want.

screenshot of searching for journal of artificial intelligence research in home page search box

This will take you to the archive for the journal - click on the most recent issue, which will take you to the home page for the journal.

On the home page there will be an option to get alerts for the journal, magazine or newsletter. 

Alternatively you can browse on the list of journals to find the item you want, or click through from an item record for a journal article and click on the publication name to access the journal home page.

Citation alerts

You can also sign up to get an email when a new item is added to ACM Digital Library which cites a particular paper or other item. Search for the item you want or select any item in your search results list. Click into that item's record, and click on the Get Citation Alerts button (the bell icon).

Conference proceedings alert

You can set up an alert for conferences when new proceedings are added. To do this, find the conference you want. You can either browse through the list of conferences or use the search box.  For browsing the list of conferences, there are two tabs on the Conferences page that provide differing conference lists, ACM Proceedings or ICPS Proceedings/. The default landing tab is the ACM Proceedings tab. There is also a tab for upcoming conferences. 

Conferences webpage showing ACM Conferences tab

The search box will not usually take you to the conference home page, but you can click on the name of the conference proceeding on any relevant item in the search results to get to the conference home page. On the home page, click Get Alerts for this Conference.

Screenshot of conference proccedings page showing option to get alert

  • You can view what alerts you have set up by logging in to your account, clicking on your name in the top right hand corner and then My Saved Searches on the menu. Click on the Alerts tab and then the corresponding tab (Publication alerts, Citation alerts or Conference Proceeding alerts).