Use RSS Feeds?


What is RSS?

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is an XML-based format that makes it possible to stay abreast of constantly changing information available from a wide variety of Web sites without actually having to visit any of them.

The RSS icon signals a link to web content that has been formatted for use by an RSS reader. Using an RSS reader or aggregator, you can subscribe to RSS feeds from news-related sources, blogs, databases and other Web sites. Each time a site is updated, changes are sent instantly to your RSS reader

RSS and the Libraries

RSS feeds allow you to receive updates whenever new content is added to a library database on a particular topic, or whenever a new issue of a journal is added to a library database. RSS works by sending automatic updates to an RSS feed reader rather than an email address; this allows you to stay on top of research in your field without constant searching and without cluttering up your inbox.

Getting Started

To receive RSS alerts, you will need two things: a feed reader and the URL for the RSS feed. Google Reader and My Yahoo! are two recommended web-based feed readers; you can also subscribe to RSS feeds through an email program like Outlook 2007 or Thunderbird if you prefer a desktop-based reader.

Once you have a feed reader, you will need to poulate it with the URLs of RSS feeds. The following database providers support RSS feeds:

  • ProQuest

  • Science Direct

You can use these databases to subscribe to new item feeds for topic searches, or to table of contents feeds for individual journals.

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