– notes, frequently asked questions and useful links from the archivist and curator of manuscripts at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Opinions expressed are the author's own.

Thing 8

Thing 8 of 23Things for Research is getting to grips with RSS feeds.

So many of these things have nearly identical functions – RSS feeds provide a digest of your personalised news headlines – not about The News but about updates to websites or databases you list on your feed reader.  A feed reader sounds like the electronic tags cows on high-tech farms wear that automatically register how much the cow eats per day. Well, database updates could be useful – I’d like to have an update delivered, for instance, whenever a new article appears in the International Medieval Database that includes the word ‘Balliol’ so I can check if it mentions one of our manuscripts or is about the college’s history or the family of the founders. Oh. According to the handy RSS instructions at Concordia library, you can’t get an RSS feed from an IMD search.

I don’t want a feed reader, but I’ll post a few feeds to check up on in an originally named ‘RSS Feeds’ section of the links menu at right. In the meantime, they are here (you will probably need a subscription to all these things):

http://library.concordia.ca/help/howto/rss-exporting.php
http://ezproxy.ouls.ox.ac.uk:4062/Iter/index?formName=search_form_simple&N=4294831797&Nu=p_work_normalized&Np=1&rss=1
http://ezproxy.ouls.ox.ac.uk:2073/action/doSearchRSS?Query=balliol&wc=on&acc=off&hp=100
http://feeds.proquest.com/rss/180572

So far, RSS seems pretty ‘meh’ for me. According to Wikipedia, RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, not Really Simple Syndication. All for now.

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