April 27, 2005

Webfeeds: SD Union-Tribune

Turns out the San Diego Union-Tribune has a wealth of feeds, though the deceptively generic "Local News" feed probably needs to be split in two: one for all city government/scandal news, and one for everything else.

I am surprised that they didn't set one up for biotech like the Seattle Times did. Between UCSD, Scripps, Salk, Pfizer, etc., this would be more useful than that feed for the Buick Invitational.

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April 17, 2005

Webfeeds: Astrophysics Data System

Ooohh, another database has gone RSS. Now I'll have three to show for my class on Thursday, along with Compendex and HubMed.

Run a search, then go down to the very end of the page. You'll see the orange XML box with the feed link that you can capture. It looks you can create the search to run against any combination of the 4 databases, including the arXiv e-prints (which has its own set of specialized feeds on its site).

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April 11, 2005

Webfeeds with Compendex/EI Village 2

As Randy points out, the introduction of feeds as a search alert option EI Village 2 means that librarians who work with engineering faculty and students now have to be able to explain this feature to their users. I think it also has wider implications. Now that one of our subscription databases offers this feature (Inspec's on another platform at UCSD), when will our other vendors follow? Somebody brought this up at a meeting I attended last month...for SciFinder Scholar, no less.

We met with our EV2 rep last week, and I offered several comments about the feeds.

  • Embed the feed link in the orange box. When many of us see that box, we just right-click to copy the feed, which won't work here since the embedded link just opens up another page.
  • If they want to continue this setup, with the XML feed appearing on that second page, then it should at least be a hyperlink so it's easier to copy.
It's also pushing things ahead here. Next month I'm presenting something on RSS/Webfeeds as reference forum that will not only be attended by my Science & Engineering colleagues, but also from other librarians from among our 10 or so branches. And next week I'm co-teaching my first "Current Awareness" class. We'll be covering both e-mail alerts and webfeeds, and I've been thinking about how to keep it all simple and not to get bogged down in the techie stuff.

We'll start with the email-based search and TOC alerts first, and then move to the webfeeds. But do I start with Compendex or with one of the publishers like IOP?. I haven't decided yet, but I also plan to include science news sources in the discussion and point out the value of "capturing the feeds" as a more manageable way of keeping up rather than e-mail.

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"Weblogs: Their Use and Application In Science and Technology Libraries"

Congrats to Randy and Geoff on the publication of their article, published in the newest issue of Science & Technology Libraries (preprint). I look forward to reading it this week.

And on a similar note, our Haworth-published article about blogs has been pushed back to August (sigh).

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