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Scopus citation links, topic collection e-alerts and TOC section RSS feeds

13 May, 11 | by BMJ

Over the past few weeks, a number of new website features have gone live across the BMJ journal platform. Read below for more details on Scopus citation links, email alerts for specific subspecialities and TOC section RSS feeds. more…

What is a podcast? And what is podcasting?

23 Jun, 10 | by BMJ

Just like blogs, podcasts are yet another Web 2.0 offshoot, bringing content-generation away from centralised sources (i.e., radio, television) into the consumers themselves. The term podcasting comes from “iPod” and “broadcasting”. However, you don’t need an iPod to listen to a podcast. Anyone with a computer or mp3 player can join in and this post will teach you how.

So, what exactly is a podcast?

A podcast is an audio programme distributed via the Internet. It’s a way for individuals and companies to create audio programs and allow users to download, listen, and subscribe to them very easily. If you’re familiar with blogging you can think of podcasting as “audio blogging.”

A podcast is different from a regular downloaded audio recording or streaming audio, however, in that the content-distribution is automatically done through RSS. The ability to subscribe to podcasts via this technology allows fresh content to be downloaded to your computer or portable audio player (e.g., an iPod). For instance, a regular podcast subscriber would expect the audio recording to be automatically transferred to his computer (and portable media player, if available) once there is a new edition or episode of his subscribed programmes available.

How do I subscribe to BMJ podcasts?

10 of the BMJ journals now have their own podcast channels, where users can listen to interviews and debates on the current topics in their specialist field. All of the available podcasts are listed on the podcast homepage

You can subscribe to a podcast with podcast software such as iTunes, Juice or Doppler or you can subscribe using a web based “feed reader” such as My Yahoo or Google Reader. Please read the instructions on their sites for more information.

When you click on the “Subscribe now” button you will be given the different options to subscribe to the podcast. We have provided “One Click” links for you to automatically subscribe if you already use iTunes, My Yahoo or Google Reader as your podcast reader. Simply click on the link and the software or service will do the rest. If you use a different podcast reader then you can copy and paste the “Feed URL” into your podcast reader. Refer to the help on your feed reader for instructions on how to do this.

Alternatively, users can listen to podcasts on a journal’s individual homepage using the tabbed widget (mentioned in a previous post) towards the bottom of the page. Simply click on ‘podcasts’, select the title that interests you and a media player will open within the same window (see screenshot below).

Are RSS feeds really simple?

2 Jun, 10 | by BMJ

Have you ever found yourself browsing the Internet and thinking that you’re spending too much time regularly visiting the same sites? What if there was a way to visit several sites at the same time? Well there is a way, sort of. Instead of you going to every site, you can have them come to you. How is this possible? This short introduction to RSS feeds will show you how.

RSS, short for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, is a term used for Internet information feeds. These feeds are delivered automatically to the user’s computer through a reader, often called an ‘aggregator’. Readers (such as Google Reader) are free and you may already have an RSS reader as part of your browser. Alternatively you can download a reader to use on your desktop. Once you have your RSS reader set up you simply find websites that offer a feed and subscribe to those you are interested in.

A feed is delivered whenever the site you are subscribed to makes a notification that an update has been made. In other words you can ‘read’ the ‘feed’ after it is sent out. These feeds make it easy to gather information from many different sources and have them automatically sent to one place – your feed reader. Once you have subscribed, the rest is automatic, which means you do not have to go to numerous sites to see if updates have been made.

So, how do we use RSS feeds on the journal sites?

Each of the journal websites contain a number of feeds which are listed on their RSS page. The available feeds include Online First, Current Issue, Recent Issues and Most Frequently Read. All of our Blogs and Podcasts also automatically generate RSS feeds which you can subscribe to by clicking on the RSS icon (see above). In addition to these individual feeds, we have recently updated our OPML file, which contains details of all journal RSS feeds and can be used to bulk import data into your RSS reader.

Perhaps the easiest way to access RSS feeds is via auto-discovery. The auto-discovery functionality will be visible in the form of an orange RSS icon in your address bar (if the website has enabled it).  By clicking on this  image you will be given a full list of the RSS feeds available on that particular site and the ability to subscribe to them (see screenshot above). All of the BMJ journals are fully up-to-date in terms of their auto-discovery functionality.

Tell us what you want!

Finally, please let us know which new RSS feeds would be most useful on the journal sites. Which articles would you like to have the chance to subscribe to? Perhaps you would like to receive updates from certain sections of a table of contents? For example, the Education in Heart section of each new issue of Heart? Please vote by clicking on the following link and leave any additional suggestions in the form of comments below. Many thanks!

Would an RSS feed for e-toc sections be useful?

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