You can spend a long time setting up a literature search on your favourite database and it would be time consuming to keep repeating this to check for new content. It can also be difficult to know how often to check some sources as update frequency can vary – it could be daily, weekly or monthly.
There may also be websites you visit frequently, or blogs that you like to read, whether these are for academic topics, from experts in your field, job sites or just personal interest. It may not be possible to find time to check for new information on each separate site every day – and you would not know if new information was available anyway.
To help you with all of these you set up alerts so that the information comes directly to you rather than you having to find it every day. This will save time and make your research more effective.