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Roddy MacLeod :: Blog :: ticTOCs - looking for input from the Emerge Community

September 25, 2007

I've posted here before about ticTOCs, the U&I project, and now I'm asking for input from the Emerge Community.

ticTOCs is developing a service to enable users to discover, subscribe to, and re-use Table of Contents (TOC) RSS feeds for thousands of journals from a wide range of publishers.

The initial phase of the project has involved an analysis of publishers' current practices with regard to the provision of RSS TOCs, and this has revealed a range of issues which may impact on the ability of end users and feed aggregators to effectively utilise feeds.

We are therefore considering drafting recommendations for good practice for the production and provision of TOC RSS Feeds.

If any members of the Emerge Community are interested in this area and may be able to offer opinions or input on the draft recommendations, could you get in touch with me, please?


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Posted by Roddy MacLeod


  1. Hi Roddy,

    you're probably aware that most of this community are busy preparing bids for the 2nd October Deadline. It may be worth posting this after the 2nd.


    Lawrie PhippsLawrie Phipps on Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 14:25 BST # |

  2. Hi Lawrie,

    Yes, Including myself!  And at the start of the academic term as well.

    The ticTOCs subgroup which is working on these recommendations will be doing so for some time yet, so I'll repost in a couple of weeks.


    Roddy MacLeodRoddy MacLeod on Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 15:12 BST # |

  3. Roddy

    This is something that we might be able to help with funding as a "benefits realisation" activity.


    George RobertsGeorge Roberts on Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 15:42 BST # |

  4. George,

    Well, I'm always interested in funding :-) but "Conducting advocacy work with publishers to encourage production of standardised TOC RSS feeds, and their re-use.  To include guidelines for the creation of TOC RSS feeds" was included in the ticTOCs bid, so initial work is already funded. 


    Roddy MacLeodRoddy MacLeod on Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 16:05 BST # |

  5. Hi Roddy,

    This may be something you've already got covered so please forgive me if this is just one more of those daft comments.

    I recently started looking at and using http://www.librarything.com/ for books and thought that perhaps it could be a model for your journals and their contents. LibraryThing not only allows you to locate the books but allows people to network around their own reading list. In addition it offers displays that cut a pie twenty different ways such as most read book, most commented upon book and the usual stuff. You can do tagging, make groups as well and search in umpteen different ways.

    It's essentially bringing together book readers and books and thereby creating a giant book club online. Might your service create do the same for journal readers perhaps? Maybe it already does. Apologies if that's already covered and good luck with your project anyway.



    email: nicholas.bowskill@gmail.com

    Consultant to eChina-UK Project on Intercultural Pedagogy 

    Nicholas BowskillNicholas Bowskill on Thursday, 27 September 2007, 09:44 BST # |

  6. Thanks Nick.  What you say is certainly not a daft comment.

    What I would say is that books and journals, or even more so books and journal content, are a bit different.  Many, many people read some books, and people often want to share what they read or make suggestions about what books they read.  OK, so many people also read some articles, especially in New Scientist/Nature etc, but the less accessed 'tail' is probably longer and thinner WRT articles than it is with books.  Therefore, I would suggest that the network effect around collected articles might be less strong than it is for books, but if it could work, then no less valuable.

    ticTOCs will be looking into things such as collaborative filtering concepts and community networking possibilities in later stages of the project.

    The initial stage will invole making it easier for people to discover journal TOC feeds; making it easier for them to view items in those feeds; making it easier for them to export items in those feeds; and recommending good practice for publishers (some of whom would probably be very appreciative of such advice).

    Once we have these basics in place, there are various other interesting possible developments, including the sort of things you suggest.


    Roddy MacLeodRoddy MacLeod on Thursday, 27 September 2007, 14:19 BST # |

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