May 25, 2005

Webfeeds: Cell Press (redux)

Cell Press has modifed their webfeed offerings (for the better). Instead confusing users by offering 4 flavors/journal, they just offering the 2.0. The entire list is now also available from each journal's page, from the "RSS" link in the upper right. Before, it was linked just off the Cell page.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

May 16, 2005

RSS and Webfeeds: A Field Guide for Librarians [PPT]

My PPT presentation from May 12, with some modifications. There was a very good turnout, with a mix of librarians and staff from many of the campus library units, and I got some interesting questions that have given me some ideas for additional exploration.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

May 14, 2005

Webfeeds: Cell Press

Cell Press now has feeds for their 10 journals, plus a combined "all headlines" feed. They're doing the New Scientist thing by offering 4 flavors for each feed: 0.91, 1.0, 2.0 and ATOM 0.3--what a way to confuse users. But at least it'll give me a chance to compare the feeds for the next time someone asks about the difference.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

May 13, 2005

More Library Webfeeds

Two more libraries are using webfeeds for their new book listings, joining the libraries at Univ Alberta, Univ Louisville and Univ Kent. [added to the RSS Compendium]

  • Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve Univ
    Several news/services feeds, plus 50+ feeds for new books by subject (and a few for VHS/DVD titles)
  • RIT Libraries, Rochester Institute of Technology
    General news, and nearly 30 new book feeds
  • University of Oklahoma Libraries
    General Announcements, Website & Technology Changes, and Employment Opportunities

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

RSS 101 Articles

2 recent articles on RSS came across my desk this week:

Feed Simple - Washington Post (5/11). He succinctly sums up what needs to happen to increase awareness and use of the technology.

  • Make it available on your site, make it easy to understand (what it is, and how to use it), and make it easy for users to subscribe to your feeds.
A Guide to Using RSS, Which Helps You Scan Vast Array of Websites - Wall Street Journal via ABI Inform (5/5). More of a general summary about the various readers.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

May 08, 2005

RSS Projects @ ProQuest: Curriculum Match Factor

John Law from ProQuest spoke at a CDL meeting I attended recently. He spoke about their research on student searching habits and needs. RSS came up in the discussion (as it did with Roy Tennant's presentation earlier about metasearching), and John showed us this, their first big RSS project.

If you look at the page itself, you'll see it talks about readers and subscribing to the feeds. But in the presentation, John explained that they envisioned faculty using the feeds by placing them on their own pages, and he had screencaps to illustrate this. Distribution and consumption, vs. consumption alone. For example, someone coming to an accounting professor's website or course webpage would see recent titles of accounting articles with links back to ABI-Inform. Later, I suggested that they needed to include this information on the site as well, screencaps included. People can figure out the whole reader/subscribe thing fairly easily; taking the feed and generating the headlines on your page is trickier.

Have to say it was really great talking with someone from the vendor side who's actually involved with this (and didn't need me to explain it to him). He also said they were working on search-generated feeds for their databases and to be looking for that in the fall. And yes, this includes Dissertation Abstracts.

ProQuest's CMF is definitely going into the presentation. Not only do the feeds link into a subscription database, but it's also a business database and my examples are so heavily skewed toward the sciences.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Webfeeds for Science Librarians

A while back, Randy asked when I was going to put together a page of webfeeds relevant to science librarians. I started working on it, and realized very quickly it's just not practical. Any time I have to work on webpages must be used for higher-priority activities:

  1. Web stuff related to my job as chemistry librarian
  2. SLA Chem Division
So this project came out of my Bloglines reorganization: a second collection focusing just on webfeeds relevant to science librarians, either for their own reading or of potential interest to their patrons. I've got quite a few in there already, sorted into categories. The only drawback to that there's no way to track new additions short of blogging them.

I'm also experimenting with a social bookmarking option which would allow this tracking, although it means keeping a feedlist current in two places.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

May 07, 2005


If you aren't using Skype yet, I strongly urge you to give it a try. It is soooo cool. I'm using it now to talk to two former colleagues at Georgia State while we work on an article, and the clarity is amazing. It's like they're in the cube next to me, not across the country. I can certainly see job candidates down the road asking if they can Skype their phone interviews.

A couple of things we discovered:

  • Definitely take the time to test it out before you really need to use it. It may take several tries to get mic/headphone connections correct on your CPU. And if you're CPU is on the floor and under the desk like mine, the headphones are probably going to stay connected.
  • The second time we tried it out, Doug and I couldn't hear each other (and were using IM as a backup to figure out what was going on). We each closed out Skype and reopened it and that seemed to fix it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Webfeeds: PubMed/NLM (coming soon)

Steven beat me to the punch on this announcement, but the May/June NLM Technical Bulletin has a nice screencap-rich preview of their upcoming webfeed service for PubMed. The RSS Feed option will be part of the Send drop-down menu you get with the results (along with e-mail, clipboard, etc.). You'll get to a page where you can customize your feed a bit, then it generates the feed and give you the orange XML box. You take care of the rest.

I'll probably demonstrate HubMed for the library presentation I'm doing Thursday, but this is a very nice piece of news.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button