Creating a current awareness newsletter using social media

These was a time when ‘Current Awareness’ meant photocopying the title pages of recently received journals and posting them round to interested lecturers. The advent of the internet did away with that, as library users gained faster access to the journals that interested them. But along with that came a sense of being overwhelmed with information and a desire that someone would again take on the role of filtering it.

Can social media help with creating this filtering mechanism?

I set up such a tool to meet my own information needs. Having been asked to contribute to the debate on how to encourage the implementation of e-Journal Archiving in the UK I wanted to keep up with discussions in this area.

The first step was to create a list of all the people on Twitter commenting on digital preservation. These might be people I have met, who comment on events in this area or mention ‘digital preservation’ in their profiles. They do not, of course, exclusively tweet about this topic. I could just follow the tweets of people on this list, but there is another social media tool that can add value to this list.

The second step was to set up an account at and use this to create a daily report of website mentioned in the tweets of people on my list. There are other ways of building such daily newspspers, you could filter the whole of Twitter by keyword or hashtag, for example.

The third step is to wait for your daily newspaper, in this case called ‘Digitalpreservation News‘ to be produced and delivered.’s technology arranges the stories into themes, embeds images and videos and presents the sites tweeted about as well as the Twitter comments themselves.

People can ‘subscribe’ to the newslatter and receive daily emails when it is released or follow my Twitter feed for automated announcements of the headlines and contributors.



About Philip Adams

Senior Assistant Librarian at De Montfort University. I am interested in digital preservation and the use of data to measure a library's impact. All comments own.
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