RSS services from journals in library catalog

About a month ago, Terry Bucknell of the University of Liverpool announced on the code4lib list. that the ticTOCs project (a project funded by JISC in the UK to create a single, freely available source of RSS feeds for tables of contents - see http://www.tictocs.ac.uk/ ) is exposing their information about journals and their RSS feeds as a TAB delimited file.

I immediately spent two hours to develop a way to read that table into our Library Content Management System and join this table to our catalog records using their ISSN. It took a little longer to get everybody to agree on the way this should be presented in the user interface, but today it can be seen in our production environment. RSS buttons appear in our Journal A-Z list and also in the full record presentation of a journal. Within the full presentation we also pick up the feed and show the recent articles within the record presentation. Most of the discussion during implementation was about whether these recent articles would appear directly or whether they should be hidden to begin with. The hiders won.

Terry mentioned that they were thinking of making an API for this service, but because our LCMS is completely based on XML services, I accidentally created the API Terry is mentioning : http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/toc/xml?toc=1530-9932. (Leave out the /xml and it will give you the RSS feed itself transformed with our local stylesheet)

It is this kind of services that should be shared more often between libraries in the world. We already discovered journals that are missing from Terry's list and will send them to him to update this wonderful service.

At Wageningen we are able to add this sort of services to our library catalogue easily, since we develop it all ourselves, but if you are using something you have bought from a library vendor, you might be able to so the same thing.
If you are able to add some javascript to your full record presentation, and can pick up the issn from the record, you could use javascript to retrieve the URL of the RSS and  present this to the user. For this you could ask our service, but this will be costly when you present a list of journals and have to go to the service for each journal. If this would become very popular we would also have a performance issue on our side I'm afraid.

If you are using a Open URL linker, I think the best way is to convince your supplier to process the http://www.tictocs.ac.uk/text.php and populate your link menu with RSS links. Or if you are using SFX and are familiar with Perl, put the file on your SFX server and write a parser to find the URL's for the relevant issn's and use that to add links to your SFX menu.


Wichor Bramer said...

You're a genious. I've been looking at this ticTOC before, but how you implemented it in to your catalogue is great. Thanks a lot, that sure will be of help to us.

Dominique said...

I am a french librarian - which explains my basic English! : -( sorry -
I am in charge of the digital documentation and particularly electronic periodicals.
( https://ent.univ-st-etienne.fr/ and tab ressources documentaires / revues numeriques )
I just discovered your catalog and your use of tictocs links rss :
nice work, really !

Like you write, "If this would become very popular we would also have a performance issue on our side I'm afraid" : -)
So do you plan to make public your api?

I am not a computer scientist. I write some small scripts in php. And I have a - simplist - question :
I don't understand in your source code how you call the function "Show recent articles"
from one page like http://library.wur.nl/WebQuery/catalog/1773111?wq_sfx=lang
<a class="toggleit handje" id="articles1"> Show recent articles </a>