March 19, 2006

EDP Sciences: RSS Feeds

EDP Sciences recently set up feeds for their 30 science journals for tracking recent articles. When I added a few of the feeds to Bloglines, for each one I got entries to about 9-10 seemingly random articles from the last issue. These feeds will probably update for each article rather than the complete TOC.

EDP Sciences includes Astronomy & Astrophysics, Europhysics Letters, and the European Physical Journal collection (Applied Physics + the A-E Journals).

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March 11, 2006

EBSCOhost: RSS Feeds (and why they could be much better)

EBSCO now offers the option to create RSS feeds for search and journal alerts. The great thing is that this includes all of the EBSCOhost databases, including Business Source Premier. The not-so-great thing is that the means to generate and save those feeds is about as convoluted as you can get.

With PubMed, Engineering Village 2 (Inspec and Compendex), and the Astrosphysics Data System, you run your search and get the feed URL to add to your RSS reader. It may take an extra click or two with PubMed, but overall it's not much more complicated than grabbing a feed off the NYT site.

However, EBSCO's made the process more complicated because you have to go through all the steps you'd need to take to create an e-mail search alert. First, you need to login to you My EBSCOhost account, or register for one if you don't already have it. Then you run the search and click the Search History/Alerts tab and follow the steps like you're creating an e-mail search alert. However, when you get to the Email Options, you select No e-mail (RSS only) so that when you save the alert, you get the RSS feed URL to add to your reader. It's the same procedure for creating a journal alert, you can't get the feed until you've signed in to My EBSCOhost.

I'm delighted that EBSCO is moving forward with RSS. At the CLA presentation I gave last November, one of the points that came out of the discussion was that public libraries are more dependent on aggregated collections like EBSCO and ProQuest for access to journal articles than academic libraries that are more likely to subscribe to journals through the publishers' native interfaces. The TOC alert feeds from the publishers just aren't going to be as useful if you have to go through Academic Search Premier to get to the actual articles.

However, it would be much simpler if EBSCO allowed you to capture an RSS feed directly off the search results page.

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