Succeeding in postgraduate study
Succeeding in postgraduate study

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Succeeding in postgraduate study

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

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
  • 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
Skip Your course resources

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371