If you’re like me, you browse through the table of contents of journals you like when you remember that a new issue might be out. When I was at the University of Georgia, the library would copy the table of contents of my selected journals and put them in my mailbox. It was a great reminder for me, and kept me up to date. In the last few years, most journals have developed an online presence, and offer e-mailed tables of contents. I signed up for many of the journals that I read, and when they hit the inbox, I browse through to see if there are articles I’m interested in.
Emailed Tables of Contents
The problem with the email service is that you need to create an account at each publisher’s website and subcribe. Sometimes I subscribe to a new journal, then decide I’m not really interested in it, but can’t be bothered to figure out which publisher site it came from to unsubscribe. That leads to more junk email cluttering my inbox. There is a better way!
RSS Feeds for Journal Contents
With the rise of regularly updated web content comes the RSS feed, which stands for really simple syndication. It’s a standard format that allows you to subscribe to content of a website through a feed reader. If you’ve never heard of a feed reader, take a look at Matt Wright’s explanation at www.animalinsides.com. There are lots of them out there; I personally use Google Reader. My whole life seems to be becoming Google-centric…
Journal Contents with iGoogle
If you’re not ready to dive into RSS on your own, here’s another option. For those of you with Google accounts, iGoogle aggregates all of your Google services in one place. If you’re in Gmail, look at the top left of the browser window. There are all sorts of services there; click on Web. That should bring you to the home page. You can add lots of widgets to your page, but I’m going to focus on journal feeds.
Create a new tab (add a tab) and name it something descriptive. Then click on “add stuff”. To the right of the search box and “search homepage content” button, there is a small link that says “add by url”. Open a new tab or window in your browser, and search for the veterinary journal you’re interested in. I created a list of links to the ones I check on regularly. Somewhere on the current issue page, most journals have a small, orange RSS button. Right click on it and choose “copy link” or “copy link location”. Switch windows or tabs back to iGoogle, and paste it into the lower search box (erase the http:// first). Click on “add” and see what happens! Some of mine needed several attempts.
Share the Veterinary Radiology Journal Tab
Is all this too technical ? A cool new Google feature is sharing tabs. I’ve created one called “Veterinary Radiology” with feeds to all the journals that offered RSS. If you have a Google account and you want to share my tab, just send me an email through the web form (include your email address) and I’ll invite you to share. One click, and you can scan the current issues all at once!
You can also click directly on this link to share the tab: