Re: Serials Reading Rooms Donald Taylor 29 Oct 2008 17:43 UTC

It was SFU's experience as well that not all RSS feeds were created equal (and of course RSS feeds are not available for all journals). In our testing we had decided to simply display the article citation information and leave out the abstracts in the displays. Just like Chad's former colleagues at Montana State, we were able to proxy the RSS feeds so that the user would have to authenticate to get to the article itself.
We didn't feel there were any licensing issues with the RSS feeds since all we're displaying is what the publisher makes freely available on their website. And in fact libraries are giving the publisher's product more of a push by making the current ToC available to patrons.
Now, if only SFU could finally move from testing to actually implementing the ToC rss feeds into our e-journal records.....

Simon Fraser University Library

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chad Hutchens" <chutchen@UWYO.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, 29 October, 2008 10:05:19 GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Serials Reading Rooms

I'm not aware of a commercial product that will do this...maybe someday.
Like Don says, there are a few libraries working on using RSS feeds to
accomplish this. Some of my former colleagues at Montana State University
are working on this and have made quite a bit of progress...I don't want to
steal their thunder, but the biggest problem that we/they ran into is that
not all feeds are created equally, which is unfortunate.

TOC feeds (in RSS format) from some platforms are very well done...others,
well, not so much. Libraries can control the look and feel and push those
feeds wherever they may chose for a variety of purposes, but they can't
control the content unfortunately. If a commercial vendor tries to do this,
they'll have the same problem. So the biggest issue is finding a suitable
source for the feed itself...multiply that task by however many journals you
want to source TOC feeds from and it quickly becomes a scalability problem
b/c thus far, finding a well-formed feed is still a very manual process that
has to be done by a person. Once you're over that huge hurdle there are
lots of ways to skin this cat indeed.

One of my concerns with doing this...and I'd like to get everyone's take on what the vendors and publishers are going to say about libraries
doing this as far as licensing is concerned. The reason I ask is because we
are essentially exposing indexing and abstracting content on the open web by
pulling these feeds out. There are a number of ways around
Montana State U, their Digital Initiatives and Web Services librarians,
successfully proxied all the links from the RSS feed so a user would have to
authenticate if they followed any links to the native resources. We chewed
on the idea of keeping the actual pages that displayed the TOC feeds behind
a secured network as well. The progress that has been made at MSU is still
in Beta (or maybe Alpha) and has not been exposed on the open web yet.

Any thoughts about the potential licensing issues here?

Chad Hutchens
Electronic Resources Librarian
University of Wyoming Libraries
Dept 3334, 1000 E University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-20000
Ph: (307) 766-5560

> From: Donald Taylor <dstaylor@SFU.CA>
> Reply-To: "SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum"
> Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 09:01:33 -0700
> To: "SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum" <SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU>
> Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Serials Reading Rooms
> Hi Sandra,
> I know that some libraries use the RSS feeds from journals to display the ToCs
> of journals in either their opacs or other online environment. Simon Fraser
> University is working on using RSS feeds to display ToCs in our ejournal
> records, which is requiring some programming on our part. It would be great to
> hear of software than facilitates this.
> Regards,
> Don
> ---------------------------------------------------------
> Donald Taylor
> Acting Head, Document Delivery Services
> e:
> t: 778.782.5596 f: 778.782.3023
> Simon Fraser University Library
> 8888 University Dr.
> Burnaby, BC Canada V5A 1S6
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sandra Lee" <sllee@FNAL.GOV>
> Sent: Wednesday, 29 October, 2008 07:16:54 GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
> Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Serials Reading Rooms
> Dear Penny,
> Including the TOC in your Library Journals List records is a great idea! Do
> you know of any commercial software products that will support this?
> Thanks for your help!
> Sandra Lee
> Librarian
> Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
> PO Box 500 MS 109
> Batavia, Illinois 60510
> phone 630 840 6013
> Fermilab Library...delivering the right information, in the right format, at
> the right time
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Penny Lochner" <plochner@MUHLENBERG.EDU>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:04 AM
> Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Serials Reading Rooms
> Hi Mildred,
> Our library doesn't have space for all our current print periodicals, and as
> you suggest, we select titles with a purpose in mind. We only have space for
> the latest issue of about 90 titles, plus newspapers and trade papers (such
> as Advertising Age). Our faculty told us that they definitely want more than
> just popular magazines in this area. Our strategy is to use the reading
> lounge as a place for current information and popular magazines,
> interdisciplinary awareness, and for young college students, provide an
> introduction to core journals of different academic disciplines. I want to
> keep content fresh, so I try to limit choices to periodicals that publish at
> least monthly. As someone else also pointed out, I make sure to include
> periodicals with rich photography or varied content good for browsing.
> Because we are converting a good number of subscriptions to online only, we
> are also looking at creating a virtual reading room. I am trying to mimic
> the browsable nature of covers in the reading room by including article
> titles rather than just publication titles. This project is only in the
> beginning stages, and we are still picking the software that will best
> support the idea. I expect the idea will continue to evolve as we put things
> into practice. Good luck!
> Cordially, Penny Lochner
> _____________________________
> Penny Lochner
> Head of Collection Resource Management
> Trexler Library
> Muhlenberg College
> 2400 W. Chew Street
> Allentown, PA 18104-5564
> email:
> voice: 484-664-3561
> fax: 484-664-3511
>>>> Mildred Merz <merz@OAKLAND.EDU> 10/28/2008 5:26 PM >>>
> Our library is relinquishing our large "current journals" reading room for a
> much smaller area. Our "current journals" room now contains all of the
> recent issues of newspapers and journals/magazines that we subscribe to in
> print. That number, of course, is ever shrinking.
> In anticipating our smaller space, we have started re-thinking what the
> purpose of the "current journals" area should be in the future. We are
> thinking that instead of just being what we get in print that it should be a
> more carefully chosen group of journals/newspapers. Perhaps the titles in
> "current journals" should be the core or essential titles, AND/OR perhaps
> they should be the more popular/readable titles that students and faculty
> would enjoy having in print. We have noticed at least two libraries that
> have created what they call "virtual reading rooms." Perhaps the physical
> area could be the popular/fun to read titles plus the very important
> interdisciplinary titles (like Nature and Science). The "virtual reading
> room" could be the core/essential titles.
> Has any other library dealt with this issue? What should be in a journals
> reading room? Millie Merz
> --
> Mildred H. Merz
> Associate Professor
> Kresge Library
> Oakland University
> Rochester, MI 48309-4484
> Phone: 248-370-2457; Fax: 248-370-2474
> E-mail: