Using RSS to Keep Up with Latest Publications from Specific Databases

Via the university internet, researchers have access to a wide range of journal databases, such as ScienceDrict, Springer. These databases publish many research papers everyday. RSS feed allows researchers to set up alerts for the databases, hence can save time and keep up to date with the latest publications in their area of interests. This post is written to guide the researchers to use RSS to keep up with scholarly research.

RSS feed and RSS reader allow you to select information of interest and then be notified regularly of new information available. The contents of specific journals, keywords, the output of search results can all be pushed to your email or to a RSS reader. Using RSS service will make it easier to stay on top of developments in your research field.

Let me take ScienceDirect as an example:

How to use RSS to follow a journal

1. Go to the journal page of its publications and most recent issues, you will have this:

2. If you have user account, you can click “alert me about new articles” to set alert via email;

3. OR, click “New article feed”, you will get this:

4. Click continue to the next step (you can also rename the RSS feed):

5. Copy the highlighted link, which is so called the RSS feed link.

6. Add this link to your favorite RSS reader, and then you can easily follow the lasted publications from this journal. This step will be explained later.

How to use RSS to follow keywords

Following an entire journal is not very convenient anymore. First of all, you are surely not interested in all the papers published on one specific journal. Secondly, the papers that you are interest on will be published on many journals. Therefore, set alert for KEYWORDS is the best way.

7. Go to “advanced search”, search keywords that you want and you will have this:

8. Click “RSS feed”, repeat step 4 and 5, now you will have the RSS feed link for your advanced search.

9. You can create as many feed links as you want with this way. For example, I created several links for TITLE-ABSTR-KEY(asphalt), TITLE-ABSTR-KEY(other keywords) and AUTHORS(name) and AFFILIATION(affilliation). By creating a RSS feed for somebody, we can follow the latest publications written by the top-level researchers.

Using RSS reader

From step 5 and step 8, we already have RSS feed link that we wanted. The last thing that we need to do is use a RSS reader to follow this feeds. Google reader is the best reader. Unfortunately it will be closed on the first of July this year. So, let me use Feedly ( as an example:

10. Register on Feedly (you can also choose other RSS reader, there are many such readers), then go to add feeds (or find feeds), paste the link that you copied from Step 5 or step 8 :

11. Click the “seach link” result, you will have this:

12. Click “add”, now you can follow the latest publication on the keywords that you are interest on. Repeat step 10 and step 11, you will then have many follows on different keywords:

Every day when you open the RSS reader, you will be noticed with the lasted publication on your interest keywords and other experts. You can even install a App of Feedly on your mobile phone and check the latest publications at any time and any place, for instance, in the toilet!!

Other Scientific Journal Databases

Most of other journal databases offer such RSS service. For example in Springer (, you can also creat RSS feed link for the advanced search:

Any database with RSS signal means that you can get RSS feed link and use RSS reader to follow its updates.

You can find more detailed introduction via this PDF document:

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