July 28, 2006

Chemistry World: RSS Feed

Chemistry World, the news magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry, now has a RSS feed. The RSC has had feeds for their journals for about a year now, but not for their news. I'm working on a new homepage for SLA-DCHE that would include RSS-to-Javascript news headlines from 1-2 chemical organizations, so now I'll be able to include ACS (via Chemical & Enginering News) and RSC.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

July 19, 2006

ISI: RSS Feeds (and why the could be much better, Part 2)

The newest ISI/Web of Knowledge update has added RSS capability. For my institution, this means search alerts for Web of Science and Biosis Previews (plus a few others), and citation alerts for Web of Science. I spent part of the morning working with it and writing up instructions for our library's Science/Engineering feedlist.

This is how RSS-based search alerting should work: you run a search, you see an box or something equivalent, you right-click to copy the link, you paste that link into your reader and you're done.

And this is how it works in ISI.

  • Set up an account in Web of Knowledge and login if you don't already have one.
  • Run a search.
  • From the results, go to Search History.
  • Save the search like you would do for an e-mail alert (but skip that part of the form) and save it to their server. You'll see a confirmation of the alert, with the .
So far, it's deja vu with yet another publisher tying RSS alerting to their e-mail alerting system where--yes--you need at least an e-mail address for that user. But I shouldn't have to go through this many steps to capture a feed off a search. For a cited reference alert in WoS, you click Create Citation Alert from the record and you'll get a similar confirmation page

But wait.....there's more. They've also borrowed from EiV2 to make the RSS even less intuitive.
You can't copy/paste the link in the , because the link looks like this (the ................... represents lots of letters and numbers):


Problem is, the RSS reader won't recognize this as a feed. You either have to paste it and strip out part of the link, or click the to bring up the feed code in a new browser window and copy the URL as it appears in the address bar.


Once I got the feed in Bloglines, it looked fine. You get more information than with the EiV2 feeds (complete citation vs. article title only), but less information than with PubMed or Astrophysics Data System (no abstract or journal linking).

I'm just baffled at how our licensed database vendors have made their RSS alert creation systems so convoluted for users. Maybe Ovid will get it right with their next interface.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button