Articles Delivered by RSS

by Jeremy M. Brown last modified 2016-01-08T17:55:54-04:00

Every time a new article in your area of interest becomes available, you can have it sent directly to you. This saves you time in the long run, and is easily set up using RSS feeds.

Jump to Steps to Follow

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What is RSS? Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a method by which you can subscribe (free) to a feed (stream) of regularly updated information and have it delivered to you in a Feed Reader or Aggregator (free tools). The whole purpose of RSS is to save you time - when you discover a useful source of information, you use the feed to bring it to you in your Reader instead of having to go and find it every time. If you use multiple sources of information, the RSS method really saves you time. This video sums it up nicely!

Typical Research
When you use one of Tarver Library's databases, you invest time developing a search which provides you with a list of published articles that are related to your search terms. Sometimes an effective search is quite comprehensive and may have taken you several attempts to develop. The articles that meet your search criteria are provided to you in the results list.

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Research via RSS
People are writing articles all the time and publishers are publishing them in academic journals on a regular basis. Tarver Library's scholarly databases have new material added to them frequently as articles become available. That ideal article for which you've been hunting may not yet be published, and you would have to re-do the same search from time to time to look for new results. This is where RSS feeds come in.

Several of Tarver Library's premier database vendors offer you the ability to create a search and then subscribe to an RSS feed of any articles that are added to the database and which meet your search criteria. Note the orange RSS feed icon in the above EBSCO Discovery screen shot.

Once you have set up a feed, you can view the current and subsequent article alerts, as they are published, in your Feed Reader. 

Vendors offering article alerts by RSS include:

  • EBSCOHost databases, including Discovery, Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete, Education Full Text
  • Proquest databases, including Research Library, A.B.I. Inform Complete
  • Any other databases with the RSS icon listed with a set of search results

Journal Alerts
In addition, some databases as well as publishers' websites allow you to create a Journal Alert RSS Feed which will notify you whenever a new issue of a specific journal is added to a database or made available online. Often a list of the articles, sometimes with abstracts will be delivered to your Feed Reader. In databases, looking for a link to the publication or journal list will often lead you to an RSS icon. On publisher websites, RSS Feeds are often located on the publication home page.

Steps to Follow

1. Find a Feed Reader or "Aggregator"
You may actually already have access to a Feed Reader. If you have a Yahoo account, for example, you have access to My Yahoo. If not, you can easily sign up with one of these services for free:

  • Feedly - available online and as an app on mobile devices, this reader is great for on-the-go access.
  • NewsBlur - an online feed reader with a lot of functionality. You can use it for free with up to 64 feeds, but will need to pay for more.
  • My Yahoo - integrate RSS feeds into a personalizable webpage alongside information like weather, news, email, and sports.

2. Choose a database and create a search strategy
You'll need to do this for each database from which you want to receive information about relevant articles as they are added.

  • Open a database and create a search strategy which yields the type and quality of articles about which you want to receive notification
  • Run the search

3. Set up the Feed
The steps vary by database, but essentially you will need to find the "Feed" or "Syndicated Feed" URL and add it to your Feed Reader. This can usually be achieved through the following steps:

  • Select the orange RSS icon, usually found at the top of your search results
  • Then either:
    • Click on the Feed URL and follow the instructions provided, OR
    • Directly copy the Feed URL into your Feed Reader's "Add an RSS Feed" option.

You may also want to look through the Help menu for different databases for specific assistance.

4. View Your Feed
Use your Feed Reader to view article alerts and link directly to the abstract or full-text article, depending upon availability within the database.

If you have any questions about Feed Readers, setting up RSS Feeds, or about any other aspect of your library research, please don't hesitate to Ask Us.