Current awareness services assist you to keep up-to-date with new publications in your subject area. Most journal indexes and databases allow you to set up a profile where your search may be periodically run and the results emailed to you. Many databases also allow you to set up alerts where the table of contents will be emailed to you each time a new issue is published and added to the database.
Types of services available:
Journal alerts - receive the table of contents each time an issue is published, or save a search for a topic and have it run automatically every day, week or month.
Book alerts - be notified of the publication of new books.
Web alerts - be notified of new or changed web pages, the same as you can for journal articles and books.
Citation alerts - find out when someone has cited your work or an article of interest.
Discussion lists - use email to communicate with a group of people with similar interests.
Conferences - be notified of upcoming conferences and calls for papers.
RSS feeds - use software that allows you to gather the RSS feeds from various sites and then displays them for you to read.
FYI - this page provides some hints and tips on how to manage current awareness services.