20. Feed the Research Monster: Making RSS feeds work for you!

Charlotte Brown, Shiobhan Smith and Sarah Gallagher (Library)

This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to learn about RSS:

  • What is it?
  • Why you would use it?
  • We will explore some of the top RSS readers and help you decide which one is best for you.

There are so many RSS readers available that it can be a challenge to find the right tool for your needs. Whether RSS is completely new to you, or you have been looking for an alternative to Google Reader, come along and learn how to feed the research monster inside you!

Workshop structure and activities

This interactive session aims to share examples of good research practice and to foster a community of practice for staff interested in using RSS to keep up-to-date with the latest research, innovations in teaching, and to track their research impact (find out who has cited you lately).

By modelling the collaborative learning technique, “Zeus: the cloud-gatherer”, the librarians will facilitate discussion about seven simple alternatives to Google Reader. This discussion will focus upon the tools and their application, sharing examples of how these can be applied in an academic setting, and suggesting further uses/applications.

Participants will also have an opportunity to reflect on how they may apply the tool in their own practice. After the workshop, the community will be invited to contribute to a Google Doc listing relevant RSS readers, descriptions of each, examples of how they can be used, and a video tutorial (where available).


Fryer, C., & Seeker, J. (2008). Information literacy and RSS feeds at LSE. In P. Godwin, & J. Parker (Eds.), Information literacy meets library 2.0. (pp. 95-102). London: Facet.

Gerolimos, M., & Konsta, R. (2011). Services for academic libraries in the new era. D-lib magazine, 17(7), 1.

Graham, C. (2012). Changing technologies, changing identities. Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 17(2), 62-70.

Gray, K., Thompson, C., Clerehan, R., Sheard, J., & Hamilton, M. (2008). Web 2.0 authorship: Issues of referencing and citation for academic integrity. The Internet and Higher Education, 11(2), 112-118.

JISC. (2009). RSS: Change the way you read the web. Subscribe to your favourite sites and let new content come to you! Retrieved August 6, 2013, from http://web2practice.jiscinvolve.org/wp/rss-2/

Mu, C. (2008). Using RSS feeds and social bookmarking tools to keep current. Library Hi Tech News, 25(9), 10-11.

Woods, B. (2013, March 13). Goodbye Google Reader: Here are five RSS alternatives. ZDNet. Retrieved August 6, 2013, from http://www.zdnet.com/goodbye-google-reader-here-are-five-rss-alternatives-7000012604/

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