The Value of RSS Feeds for Academics

RSS feeds are often overlooked, but they are powerful tools that can help you keep up-to-date with the growing number of journals and media outlets in your research. Start saving time by using Duke University Press’s RSS feeds.

What is an RSS feed?

An RSS feed is a service that automatically sends you new content from sites that you care about. RSS feeds make it easy to stay informed about academic journals, blogs, social media, news organizations, podcasts, and almost any content published on the Internet. The advantage of RSS feeds is that you don’t have to constantly monitor all the websites that you follow. The new content comes straight to you on an RSS feed reader like Digg Reader or Feedly, which are both great apps and typically free.

We like these readers because they are well designed and already configured for mobile devices, which instantly makes your journal an “app-like” reading experience.

Setting up an RSS feed reader, using Feedly:

1. First, you will need to open a Feedly account. Feedly uses your Google account, so you can either log in using your Google credentials or create a new log in. Log in and/or accept Feedly’s use of your account information.

Sign up for RSS feeds2. Next you will see a search box where you can enter a topic, a URL, or the title of a publication. We recommend entering the exact URL of the RSS feed that you would like to subscribe to.

All of Duke University Press’s journals have RSS feeds available and, in some cases, several options. Using our journal Camera Obscura as an example, you will find the RSS feeds on the journal’s HighWire landing page.

3. Clicking on the RSS Feed link circled above will lead you to a page with several feed options:

RSS Feed Options

4. Suppose we want to stay informed of newly published issues.  Click the “Current issue only” RSS feed. This will take you to a page where, depending on your browser, you will see either the actual coding of the current issue or a listing of the articles, similar to a table of contents. Copy and paste this page’s URL in the search box back on Feedly’s site to set up your RSS subscription. In the Camera Obscura example, you’d enter the URL, http://cameraobscura.dukejournals.org/rss_feeds/current.xml.

Feedly

5. Camera Obscura will appear in the search results column. Click “Camera Obscura” and you will come to a page with the contents of the most recent issue and a green button labeled “add to my feedly” Click that and you will be able to assign it to a category in your account.

6. You’re done! All new articles of Camera Obscura will now be delivered straight to your Feedly account. Feedly has great mobile apps for reading on tablets and smartphones.

Two tips for making the most of your Feedly account:

  • Because content may be behind an access wall, you can ask your institution for remote VPN (virtual private network) access for your computer or mobile device. You can also bookmark articles of interest in your Feedly account and revisit them when you are on a network with access or have more time to read.
  • To organize your articles, you can bookmark your favorites, add tags to articles to help you find them later, export an item to Evernote, or e-mail it to a friend or yourself.

We hope that RSS feeds will save you time and help keep your articles organized, as well as stay up-to-date on our most recent scholarship!

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