This is a topic that has been revisited on and off around the medical library world since the introduction of OvidSP. The Krafty Librarian and OMG Tuna is a Kewel have made some pertinent remarks, which I’ve been intereseted in, but never had time to follow up properly. Today, prompted by the training video that David Rothman linked to, I decided to see what really was happening with RSS feeds. The answer (for me) is Not Enough.  I also get feeds from Pubmed, and like that they show the full citation, as it appears in their citation display, complete with authors, citations, related links, and a link to full text, if it exists.  In Ovid you only get Title and Abstract, and there’s not even any identification of items which are not in English.  I haven’t dug around and looked at Ebsco’s yet, but that’s next on my list.

All of which led me to wonder where our clients are up to.  Do they want RSS feeds?  Or are they having enough trouble just working out how to use Ovid anyway, and emailed alerts are fine for them?  Are we stressing over technology that’s just not being widely used yet (except by librarians)?  Are we going to have to teach them about rss as well as Ovid – and is that overkill? Has anyone got any insights on how / what their clients are doing with RSS feeds, and what they want?  Please leave comments!

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