Researchers like to create Google Scholar citation alerts so that they can know when someone cites a specific paper. It is an easy way to follow targeted subjects and understand how a certain paper is regarded in the literature. You can create a citation alert on any paper you are interested in regardless of whether you are an author or not. Well, almost any paper I should say. The Google Scholar interface does not allow you to follow papers that have not been cited yet (adding to the list of gripes I have for Google Scholar)! Alerts are created by clicking the “cited by” number and then clicking “create alert.” But for research articles that have not been cited yet, this “cited by” link does not appear in search results. Fortunately, I found an easy workaround by looking at the URL queries.
Step 1: Find the unique ID of the article you want to follow
You need to find the unique Google Scholar ID of the article or book you are trying to follow. Here is an example using an uncited paper of mine (as of July 2022). In the Google Scholar search result, click on one of the authors that has a Google Scholar profile. On the authors’ profile page, find the article entry and click the title. This will bring up the “view article” page, and at the bottom, you can see all articles that correspond to the article you are viewing (duplicates). Citation alerts are created based on these individual articles.
Right-click on the individual article entry and select “copy link address” (Chrome) or “copy link” (Safari), or an equivalent in your browser. If you paste the address into any text editor, it will look something like this:
Here the number after “
cluster=” (highlighted) is the unique ID you are looking for.
Step 2: Make the URL for citation views
Now concatenate the ID you found to the following URL:
In the example I showed above, the url would therefore become:
Step 3: Create an alert!
Go to this URL with your browser and you will see the “Create alert” button:
For papers that don’t have any authors with a Google Scholar profile, I am not sure how this should be done. If you figure it out, please share!
Last modified: Jul. 19th, 2022