Web 2.0 is in vogue. Library 2.0 seems even hipper.
One of the consistent examples for a good 2.0 library is the implementation of RSS feeds. RSS-ify your news items, your latest acquisitions and more. A logical extension of a RSS-ified library is a feed for each and every journal in the catalogue. Perhaps not a good idea to make them for each and every journal yourself, but as an aggregator of services the e-journals catalogue is a good place to offer them. So far so good. Where do you get them? At the publishers sites of course. That is where the pain starts. I only whish there was some logic, some coherence, some consistency in the way publishers would offer RSS feeds for new journal content.
American Chemical Society publishes Journal of agricultural and food chemistry the feed looks like http://pubs.acs.org/wls/alerts/rss/jafcau some illogical journal abbreviation specifies the journal. With ACS you could have expected a RSS feed based on the CODEN at least. Let alone for ISSN.
Biomed Central publishes BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine the feeds of most BMC journals are based on the journal title but in this particular instance the feed is http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmccomplementalternmed/rss/
Blackwell publishes Ecological Entomology the feed looks like http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/action/showFeed?ui=0&mi=0&ai=wn&jc=een&type=etoc&feed=rss, the jc=een refers to the journal under investigation.
Cambridge Journals publishes Experimental Agriculture the feeds is the following … Oops. Your can’t. You get the following message: To continue this action you will need to login to CJO with your username or password. If you are a new visitor please register here.
Elsevier has a similar problem as Cambridge has. You need to be logged in to the ScienceDirect platform to subscribe to some feeds. Many feed options, yes that’s true. But simple RSS feeds on new journal content is a bit more difficult than straightforward.
Oxford has a great journal in Annals of Botany. Oxford offers a range of feeds for the journal, but the current issue feed looks as follows http://aob.oxfordjournals.org/rss/current.xml, i.e. based on some sort of journal abbreviation.
Springer is the publisher of Scientometrics which RSS feed is to be found at http://www.springerlink.com/content/101080/?sortorder=asc&export=rss where the number in the feed has no relation whatsoever to the ISSN.
Taylor & Francis has amongst others the journal Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A – Animal Sciences which feed is to be found at http://www.informaworld.com/ampp/rss~content=t713690045. Don’t be mislead, the last number is not an ISSN. The ISSN of this journal is 0906-4702 (to be found is the XML page behind the feed)
Wiley Interscience publishes the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. It’s RSS is to be found at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/rss/journal/76501873. It looks deceptive, but the number at the end is not the ISSN of course. Those are 1532-2882 for the paper edition and 1532-2890 for the electronic form.
So many publishers, so many different RSS feeds. Hello wake up! We as libraries are their customers. We have to make clear that this is not an acceptable policy. Of course we can wait for yet another player in the information provision chain to sort it out for us. But what is needed is some simple and logic reasoning. We don’t need to invent yet another DOI system or an open URL system. A basic URL for a journal’s feed should look like this:
Where the base url is something like the url of the publishers or aggragtors platform. Something like www.springerlink.com or www.sciencedirect.com. The ISSN is preferably the paper issn -since that is available in most catalogues. If not that an e-issn is required. And the feed should end like <feed>, wether RSS 0.92, 2.0 or Atom. Deceptively simple, yet not a publisher has thought this up.
Come on publishers agree with each other and standardize on a standard for journal content notifications.