I’ve been thinking and talking about RSS feeds (or Atom feeds if you’d prefer) from repositories recently with Les Carr to see what could be done with them when aggregated with feeds from all of the open access repositories across the globe. Les wrote a script to aggregate the feeds, so I provided him with a list of computed RSS feed addresses of all of the UK DSpace repositories. Les had problems with the majority of the URLs because they didn’t provide RSS feeds as expected. I assumed the little script that I’d written to concoct the feed URLs from the repository URLs held in ROAR wasn’t working correctly, so I spent half an hour last night going through the list by hand. This corroborated what Les had found. The URLs should have been right, but:
Of the 26 UK DSpace repositories listed in ROAR, only 8 had working RSS feeds!
Yes, that’s a measly 30% which have this facility enabled. So if you are running DSpace 1.4 or later, please please please edit dspace.cfg and change ‘webui.feed.enable = false‘ to ‘webui.feed.enable = true‘. Ditto for the equivalent configuration if you run an alternative repository platform.
There has started to be a lot of talk about what services feeds could enable us to build, and I predict that we’ll start seeing some novel and exciting uses of these feeds over the coming year. Enable your feeds, expose yourself, and be part of it!