Email Alerts & RSS Feeds
Adapted from Eric Larson’s workshops
University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries
This workshop will cover…
• Alerts, RSS Feeds and Feed Readers
– What they are
– How to set them up
– How to locate them
Why would I want to set up an RSS
feed or Alert service?
• Save time keeping up with the literature
• See new works by author
• Get new research on a topic
• Receive current journal Table of Contents
• Find papers citing your favorite paper
• Keep up on topics of interest
Who provides alerts & RSS feeds
• Publishers (TOC)
• Article databases
• Web sites and Web logs (blogs)
• A saved search in a journal article
database sent to your email
• Monthly or weekly
• Sample databases:
- Web of Knowledge
- Academic Search
• Real Simple Syndication
• File format that web sites, blogs and
• Shows short description of content with link
to full version
• RSS feeds are read with a Feed Reader
How do I subscribe to
an RSS feed?
• You need a ―feed reader‖
• We’ll demo Bloglines
Web-based Web Browser Desktop
Bloglines Firefox Thunderbird
My Yahoo! Safari RSSReader
Pros and Cons
• Email Alerts
– Pro: comes to your email
– Con: gets lost in your email
• RSS Feeds
– Pro: many sources collected in one place
– Pro: easy to save selected items
– Con: many databases do not have RSS yet
– Con: need to remember to check your Feed Reader
– Con: can be addictive!
Article database alerts
• Journal Table of Contents
• Cited References
Email Alert Demo
How do I find RSS feeds?
1. RSS feeds are linked to image icons:
2. RSS can be ―discovered‖ by your browser (Firefox
RSS—Who has them?
RSS--It Looks Crazy!
URL in Browser Address Bar More Important
Technorati Blog subject
Web of Science subject
University of Arizona
Want to Add RSS to your website?
– Check out Univ of Arizona site for more
– WLA program Fri, 9:00–10:15 a.m.
“Beyond Newsletters: RSS Feeds, Blogs, and
Podcasts” by Bonnie Shucha and Amy Gannaway