Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cambridge Journal Feeds & what non-journal subscribers can do

This is so cool that I have to post this during lunch: Thanks to Stephen (Library Stuff) who posted that Cambridge University Press Online now has RSS and ATOM feeds for their journals. You can also browse the listings by subjects.

Wow indeed.

Here's a link to the Blogline feeds I've subscribed. Not that I've studied in those subjects. I just like to know what research is like in those areas. As a librarian, you'll never know what information might come in useful in future.

You won't get full-text articles from the feeds though. It shows the journal issue, like an alert service of what's published (it's understandable 'cos they rely on subscriptions to make money). Then you visit the website to read the abstract.

But fret not. Here's a suggestion for non-subscribers to the journal:
  1. Create a RSS feed to the journal you're interested (it's a good way to be alerted of new issues)
  2. The new feed will show only the journal volume and issue number. Example: English Today, Volume 21 Issue 04
  3. Depending on how your feed reader works, click to go to the Cambridge Journal page and read the abstract
  4. When you find a particular article that really interests you, go search your library OPAC to see if your library buys the journal.
  5. Or ASK! a librarian (visit or email your local library). They can check if their electronic databases have the full text. Chances are that they won't since it's a paid journal subscription, but hey, no harm asking right? The librarians might be able to offer alternative information resources.

Ok, I admit it was a sly attempt in promoting the library service.

But what I really want to show is how users can make use of new tools (like RSS feeds) to complement current resources that they already have access to (like their public libraries and their friendly-neighbourhood librarians).

And that for libraries, technology + changes in the information landscape certainly does not spell the death of libraries. It depends on how we ride the wind.

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