Yale University Library


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What is RSS?

What is RSS or an RSS feed?

RSS, or Rich Site Summary, is a mechanism or standard for publishing story excerpts, headlines, news, and URLs in a format (properly formatted XML) that can be read by computer software called an "aggregator" or "RSS news reader." The content produced in this format is called an 'RSS Feed'.

Many people find that using an aggregator saves time by allowing them to see what's being published on many sites at once from their desktop, rather than surfing to each site sequentially. News organizations such as CNN and Reuters make RSS feeds available for their headline news. This technology allows us to bring Library news (and in the future other resources) directly to a patron's desktop in a format that is becoming increasingly popular.

There are many articles and web sites that explain what RSS is and how it works - just search on RSS in Google and you will find many, some we have found useful include:

News That Comes to You

An easy to understand RSS tutorial: http://www.mnot.net/rss/tutorial/

Many universities are making their News available in this way, including:

Georgia State University Library
University of Alberta Library (Note the RSS icon in their page footer)

Taking this technology a step further, some universities make their current acquisitions available in an RSS feed, for example, the University of Kent.

How can you place the Library News on your web site? The News feed is currently on the Staff Front Door - to put display it on your site, place the code below on your page where you'd like the news displayed:

New!: The Library Web Server (www.library.yale.edu) can now serve as your RSS parser, to create code to include in your web page, use the Feed2JS tool found at: http://www.library.yale.edu/feed/build.php.

<script language="JavaScript" src="http://www.library.yale.edu/feed/feed2js.php?src=http://resources.library.yale.edu/online/newsxml.asp&chan=n&num=5&desc=0&date=n&targ=n" type="text/javascript"></script>

<a href="http://www.library.yale.edu/feed/feed2js.php?src=http://resources.library.yale.edu/online/newsxml.asp&chan=n&num=5&desc=0&date=n&targ=n&html=y">View RSS feed</a>

The output will be dynamic - the script will check for updates each time your page is loaded, output should look something like: