Using RSS to Promote Scholarly Publications


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The Fletcher School's Edwin Ginn Library has created several databases to track and promote scholarly research by our faculty and students. A faculty publications database provides RSS feeds by author- and user-supplied keywords along with a current awareness feed that includes everything published. A second database highlights student master's theses. Feeds are used internally to populate web pages and externally to promote the school. Learn how we created these two databases.

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  • Using RSS to Promote Scholarly Publications

    1. 1. Using RSS to Promote Scholarly Publications Ken Varnum Associate Librarian Edwin Ginn Library The Fletcher School Tufts University Cool Tools and New Technologies 27 October 2006
    2. 2. Introduction to RSS <ul><li>Who has heard of RSS? </li></ul><ul><li>Who reads RSS feeds? </li></ul><ul><li>Who creates RSS feeds? </li></ul>
    3. 3. RSS Really Simple Syndication <ul><li>Several conceptually similar XML data formats that share a common function </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS 1.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS 2.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Atom </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tool for content owners/creators to syndicate their content -- what the AP or Reuters does </li></ul>
    4. 4. If a Feed Falls in the Web, Does Anybody Hear It? <ul><li>You let the world know your feed is updated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By ‘pinging’ aggregators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By including recent n headlines on your web site </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your readers see it in their feed reader </li></ul><ul><li>People 'out there' subscribe or use content </li></ul>
    5. 6. Where Does RSS Come From? <ul><li>Automatically Generated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Weblog software (Movable Type, TypePad, Bloglines, Wordpress, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content management systems (i.e., Wikis) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>By Hand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you know HTML you can learn RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Using Perl, PHP, Ruby, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create feeds from database searches </li></ul></ul>
    6. 7. Core Problem <ul><li>Losing Fletcher School’s intellectual capital </li></ul><ul><li>Nobody at Fletcher had full knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>No &quot;what's new&quot; service for external or internal use </li></ul><ul><li>Inefficiencies </li></ul>
    7. 8. Student Master’s Theses <ul><li>Built site for students to input brief metadata </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Author </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Title </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Countries/regions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subjects </li></ul></ul>
    8. 10. Student Master’s Theses <ul><li>Perl script parses text file, builds web page </li></ul><ul><li>Another Perl script creates an RSS file whenever a new thesis is published </li></ul><ul><li>File is saved on server -- not dynamically generated </li></ul><ul><li>Feed2JS displays titles & abstracts on library web page </li></ul>
    9. 12. Faculty Publications <ul><li>Needs assessment involved various groups: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni relations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student publications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ginn library </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Built SQL database and data entry with Perl </li></ul><ul><li>Different work flow for each type of publication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Books or Book Chapters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journal Articles or Opinion/Editorial Pieces </li></ul></ul>
    10. 14. Search = Feed <ul><li>Simple search interface </li></ul><ul><li>All searches are live -- database of 350+ publications </li></ul>
    11. 15. Feed = Live Data <ul><li>Every search returns results and RSS feeds </li></ul><ul><li>RSS feeds populate other web pages using Feed2JS </li></ul>
    12. 16. Enhancements <ul><li>Combine faculty publications database with document access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tufts OpenURL implementation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>COinS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to connect people with licensed copy of publications </li></ul><ul><li>More flexible &quot;canned&quot; output formats </li></ul>
    13. 17. Thank You <ul><li>PowerPoint Slides </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Me [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Read my Weblog on RSS in Libraries </li></ul>