Journal publishers allow you to set up alerts in order to get ongoing emails about new published articles. Some may require free registration.
Feeds bring content from the Web to you. Instead of going to your 10 favorite web sites to see what's new, you can bring the latest from those 10 sites to one place, namely your RSS reader. Google Reader is an example of an easy-to-use news reader. When you're viewing a page you like with this icon, copy the icon to your feed reader.
For more information about how to set up a RSS reader, see this guide: http://guides.library.cornell.edu/rss