I would like to enhance my use of Google Scholar. Specifically, I am looking for functionalities I do not know whether they exist.

  • Is it possible to "follow" a specific paper? I would like Google Scholar to notice every time some other works quote this paper, as I consider they relate strongly to my Ph.D. dissertation.
  • Is it possible to get noticed every time specific journals publish papers that include defined keywords in their title or abstract?

I am curious about all the enhanced uses you can have of Google Scholar. If they are extra options, which notably help watching new publication on specific topics, I would be pleased to know them.

  • 1
    You should check YouTube. There are many great videos on how one can better use Google Scholar. Oct 5, 2020 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


No, you cannot follow specific papers or journal-level keywords on Google Scholar; you can only follow researcher profiles.

However, there are other databases that support such a functionality.

Alert for specific keyword-searches in journals

For instance, on Web of Science, you can set an e-mail alert for your search keywords. Using their Advanced Search Options, you can design your keywords such that you only search in specific journals and only in their Abstracts and Titles. After you have done your search, click on Create an alert in the left menu.

Web of Science screenshot showing how to create an alert for a search

The same applies to Scopus where the option is named Set alert:

Scopus screenshot showing how to create an alert for a search

Alert for specific papers

On Web of Science, click on a search result or publication. On the right-hand side, under the heading 'Citation Network' you can click on Create Citation Alert:

Web of Science screenshot for citation alerts

In Scopus, the same function can be found as Set citation alert.

Scopus screenshot for citation alerts

Or on ResearchGate, you can get alerts for citations to specific papers by clicking Follow:

enter image description here

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .