Resource of the Month: RSS feeds

by Debbie

RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. What this means is that it’s a handy way to keep track of what’s new with your favourite websites – without having to visit them every day. Essentially, you need an aggregator to read feeds, and then you need feeds to read!

To get an idea of what RSS feeds are, watch this short video from CommonCraft:

We’ve also produced a guide in the library with the information; you can download it from the Library guides section on Blackboard, or from below.

Quick guide to RSS

Two of the most popular aggregators, or feed readers, are Google Reader and Bloglines. You can sign up for an account with one of these for free.

Once you’ve got an account, you need to add some feed to it. Some useful environmental technology ones are:

The Environmental News Network has a variety of feeds, listed here.

The Guardian’s Environment section has a useful news feed, and also has some for specific areas, such as climate change.

The BBC offers several different news feeds. You can also set up a search feed through them, so for example you can be alerted to all news stories which mention ‘biofuels’. Instructions on how to do this are here.

If you like to keep track of Tables of Contents (ToCs) of journals, you can set up RSS feeds to alert you using a service like ticTOCs or Zetoc.

Similarly, you can often set up RSS feeds of searches in many databases, which can free up yet more space in your email inbox!



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