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Keeping Up-To-Date : Current Awareness

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Bibliothèque - Polytechnique Montréal
2500, chemin de Polytechnique
Montréal (Québec) H3T 1J4
Pavillon Lassonde, 7e étage
(514) 340-4666

What is Current Awareness?

Current awareness is as "an ongoing, mostly iterative activity that aims to actively monitor environments in various fields, whether technical or business… to anticipate trends" [our translation], according to the AFNOR (Association française de normalisation) X50-053 standard.

Current awareness comprises the activities that allow researchers to be aware of trends and new developments in their particular fields of study. It is also a means to find new opportunities and to identify possible collaborators or competitors.

Current awareness is, in a certain sense, a perpetual review of literature to:

  • Discover information sources and research methods;
  • Find gaps in the literature;
  • Evaluate methods;
  • Develop one's own methodological approaches.

Current awareness also allows a researcher to:

  • Become more familiar with the tools available (e.g., the advanced search in a database), so they can learn to use them to their full potential;
  • Obtain direct feedback on one's search results so that the necessary adjustments can be made as needed.

This guide aims to present basic tools to set up your own current awareness system.

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