Finding new publications

An important part of being a researcher is to keep up with current literature. I will tell in this post how I do that. I have two ways for this: 1. weekly searchers at Web of Science and 2. subscribing to emails of latest content of journals.

Already when I was starting my PhD project, my supervisor told me that it is important to regularly check Web of Science for latest articles of my study topics. Ever since that I’ve checked the same list of search terms every Friday. And always in that same order. The list has become longer during the years, since I’m studying quite many topics. You can see from the list below that I’m interested in the vision and olfaction of birds, trophic level interactions, some of my specific study animals etc. There is a reason why herbivor* is last on that list. There are absolutely the most articles found with that, usually 30-100 per week. For the other search terms 0-10 per week is typical.

  • UV vision*
  • UV AND bird*
  • UV AND avia*
  • vision* AND avia*
  • vision* AND bird*
  • olfact* AND bird*
  • olfact* AND avia*
  • trophic* AND avia*
  • trophic* AND bird*
  • pine* AND bird*
  • pine* AND avia*
  • diprion* AND pini*
  • epirrita* AND autumn*
  • plasticin*
  • geolocat*
  • stercorar* AND parasit*
  • herbivor*


I know that I follow the contents of quite many journals but I was still surprised when I made this list. 59 journals! And I’m sure I’ve forgotten some journal. This list has been also growing slowly during the years. I try to read these emails twice a week or so.

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Animal Biotelemetry
  • Animal Cognition
  • Annales Zoologici
  • Arthropod-Plant Interactions
  • The Auk
  • Basic and Applied Ecology
  • Behavioral Ecology
  • Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • Behavioural Processes
  • Biology Letters
  • Bird Study
  • Chemoecology
  • Ecography
  • Ecological Applications
  • Ecological Monographs
  • Ecological Research
  • Ecology
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Ecology Letters
  • Ecoscience
  • Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
  • Ethology
  • Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
  • Functional Ecology
  • Global Change Biology
  • Ibis
  • Journal of Animal Ecology
  • Journal of Avian Biology
  • The Journal of Basic & Applied Zoology
  • Journal of Chemical Ecology
  • Journal of Ecology
  • Journal of Evolutionary Biology
  • Journal of Experimental Biology
  • Journal of Field Ornithology
  • Journal of Ornithology
  • Journal of Tropical Ecology
  • Marine Ecology Progress Series
  • Movement Ecology
  • Nature
  • Nature Climate Change
  • Nature Ecology & Evolution
  • New Phytologist
  • Oecologia
  • Oikos
  • Ornis Fennica
  • The Open Ornithology Journal
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
  • Plant, Cell & Environment
  • Plant Ecology
  • PLOS Biology
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society B
  • Science
  • Tree Physiology
  • Trends in Ecology & Evolution
  • Trends in Plant Science
  • Urban Ecosystems


The same procedure applies to both Web of Science and the lists of journal contents. I glance through the list of titles, and if there is something interesting or I recognize the author(s), I read the abstract and if that is still interesting I download the full article for later reading.

I post on Twitter the interesting new articles I find:


It would be interesting to know what search terms you use and/or how many journal contents you have subscribed to. 🙂


© Elina Mäntylä (, 4 May 2017


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