Google Scholar alerts for uncited papers
What are Scholar alerts?
If you're not familiar with it, Google Scholar has a nice feature that allows you to subscribe to new citations of existing papers, authors or search terms. This service is awesome for keeping up to date about new papers in your field. As soon as they are indexed by Google, you will receive an email with the new citations for your subscribed papers. One example email is shown on the right.
Everything is fine, as long as you try to subscribe to papers which already have citations themselves:
You just click the “Cited by …“ link, which will take you to a new listing of papers. On the left, you can then click on “Create alert” and from then on, you will receive emails as soon as Google indexes a new paper that cites the one you selected.
However, especially for newer papers that have not yet been cited, for example the ones coming in through an already existing Scholar alert, there is no way to create an alert. The “Cited by” link is simply not displayed under those papers, and without it, there is no way to directly create an alert for a paper. You can of course enter the paper title as a search term, but that usually gives you a lot of other hits that you might not always want to get notified of.
There are workarounds, but they involve adding the papers into your library, digging through HTML to find the unique ID of the paper, and copying & pasting it into a new URL to get to the alert creation page – all very annoying and time consuming, and nothing that has ever made it into my literature search workflow.
To add these buttons, all it takes is downloading Greasemonkey for Firefox or Tampermonkey for Chrome, adding a new user script, pasting the contents of this (Firefox) or this script (Chrome) and reloading the Google Scholar website.