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Journal Alerts & Search Alerts: RSS Feeds & Readers

What are RSS feeds?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS feeds allow information that is frequently updated, like items in databases, on newspaper websites, or on blogs, to be sent to you instead of you visiting those websites to get new information.

RSS feeds are organized in feed aggregators, also called feed readers. You can subscribe to RSS feeds for multiple journal or search alerts; updates for all your feeds will be organized in one feed reader.

For a simple video description of what RSS Feeds are and how you use them, watch this short video produced by Common Craft on YouTube (3 min 44 sec):

Note: Even though the video is older and some of the feed readers mentioned no longer exist, the basic information on how feed readers work still applies.

Because individual feed readers may work slightly differently, the Library is unable to offer a step-by-step guide for how to use the many feed readers available. Unfortunately, feed readers seem to come and go. Many popular feed readers have ceased to exist over time. If you choose to use a feed reader, keep in mind that your choice may not be a permanent option, and if necessary, you may need to move your feeds into another product at some point in the future.

What feed reader should I use?

A variety of RSS feed readers/aggregators are available, both free and for a fee. Some feed readers are web-based, some are software that needs to be downloaded to your computer, while others are available only as mobile apps. Many readers will sync your feeds and favorites across computers and mobile devices.

You'll want to make sure that the RSS reader you're interested in is compatible with the device(s) and internet browser(s) you will use.

Wikipedia has a comparison chart that shows many available options.

Note: The Walden University Library does not specifically recommend or endorse one RSS feed program over another.

Note: The Library is unable to offer technical support for RSS feed technical issues. We offer basic information on RSS feed readers to help you get started. You will need to contact the software/app provider for technical support.