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Succeeding in postgraduate study
Succeeding in postgraduate study

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7.5 Deciding which tool to use

Whether you are new to these tools or not, spending some time familiarising yourself with different ways to keep up-to-date may save you considerable time in the future. In deciding which tool to use, think about the answers to the following questions:

  • Do I want everything coming into my mailbox?
  • Where and how do I access these tools?
  • What’s the best use of my time?
  • Will these tools expose information sources I haven’t previously used?

The table below lists some pros and cons which may be useful for you to consider.

Table 3 Tools to keep up-to-date with information – pros and cons
Tool Pros Cons
Mailing lists
  • Easy to set up
  • Archived on the web
  • Opportunity for networking
  • May overwhelm your mailbox
  • Limited audience
  • Not always active
RSS Feeds
  • Updated frequently
  • Able to access full information (e.g. article, podcast or proceedings) from brief summary
  • Easy to manage
  • Need to set up a feed reader
  • Graphics and photos do not appear
  • Not always available
Alerts
  • Delivered to your mailbox
  • Relevance is high
  • Exposed to material you were unaware of
  • Dependent on the quality of your search
  • Have to register with several sites
  • Not available for every resource you may be interested in