Developing a Current Awareness Service Using Really Simple Syndication (RSS) (Brief Communications)

Developing a Current Awareness Service Using Really Simple Syndication (RSS) (Brief Communications)

INTRODUCTION Current awareness services alert scholars, researchers, and health care practitioners to recently published literature in their fields of specialization. Librarians who provide these services use various methods to keep current with academic and professional literature. Traditional methods include routing print journals, distributing photocopied journal tables of contents, and simply browsing professional publications. Newer methods include conducting saved searches in preferred databases and creating email table of contents alerts. Each of these methods has disadvantages: Routed print material moves slowly, distributing photocopies is labor intensive, and browsing material requires extra time and active participation. Saved searches involve expert users and continual search amendments. Email alerts flood inboxes already brimming with unread items. The increasing availability of publisher- and vendor-supplied really simple syndication (RSS) feeds provides another option for current awareness services, one that addresses many of the problems of traditional means. While RSS is not a new technology and feeds have been commonly available for news and blogs for many years, journal content providers were slow to follow suit. Moreover, the benefit of RSS for journal content in the dispersed digital environment is limited, as the identification, location, and management of new journal articles from multiple feeds can frustrate and overwhelm even the savviest user.

Developing a Current Awareness Service Using Really Simple Syndication (RSS) (Brief Communications)



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