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RSS for Web Syndication: Intro


What is RSS (really simple syndication)?

RSS feeds publish updates from websites in a standardized XML format which you subscribe to using feed readers or aggregators. RSS is the wise grandmother of the newsfeeds you may already use. The principal difference with RSS is that there are no algorithms mediating or filtering the information you see. For this reason, an RSS feed is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t miss a thing. The drawback is that you will need to curate your subscriptions carefully so that the abundance of incoming information is not overwhelming. Finally, because RSS is a protocol, designed to work with the web's decentralized structure, surveillance and user lock-in are minimized. For this reason, RSS is considered an ethical educational technology.


RSS feeds help you find out about new literature in your field, such as:

  • table of contents from new issues of your favorite journal
  • new articles on your specific research topic
  • new books in your field
  • new patents in specific technology areas of interest to you
  • news in science, technology, business, health, etc. from news outlets

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