During the period of your research it is important that you stay up-to-date with activity in your specialist area.This is not just new papers published in journals but also attendance at conferences and through networking with other researchers and specialists in your field of study. The sites listed are not intended to provide a comprehensive guide to staying up-to-date but do indicate the range of resources available to you. Your supervisor and your own network of colleagues and fellow researchers may be aware of other resources in your speciality.
Many publishers and database hosts, such as EbscoHost and ProQuest My Research, provide an alerting service. There are also services, such as JournalTOCs and Zetoc which offer journal content page alerts. The benefit of registering with these organizations and setting up an interest profile or search strategy is that you will then recieve an alert when any new papers are added that meet your criteria.
Web sites/pages can be significant sources of research information. Keeping up-to-date with this resource is a major problem. Two services try to address this: Google Alerts and ChangeDetection.com both offer an email alert service. Google bases theirs on a search string and is therefore very similar to the database alerting services. ChangeDetection.com needs a URL so will only alert to changes on single web sites.
You can also find out the details of conferences by contacting the relevant academic and professional interest groups and associations.
The BCU Research Community blog Birmingham City University Research Bites also lists events and conferences.
Below are links to sites which offer access to the wider research community.
Vitae A researchers' portal providing links to a range of academic associations.
JISCmail JISC email discussion lists service for UK Higher Education.
ResearchGate is a network dedicated to science and research. Connect, collaborate and discover scientific publications, jobs and conferences. All for free
Methodspace has a focus on social science research methods but acts as a network for researchers in which they can, pose questions,seek solutions to issues and share research. Methodspace is sponsored by Sage Publications.
Academia.edu offers the opportunity for researchers to share their research and interact.