Course level journal article feed

Following on from the last blog post, I’ve done some coding to see how well (or not!) a course level new journal article feed might work.
The process behind the code is…

  1. for a given course, identify the most frequently accessed journal titles
  2. use JournalTOCs to fetch the latest articles from each journal’s RSS feed
  3. for each course, create a list of articles (sorted in descending date)

…and you can see the initial output from the code here:
For some courses (e.g. Educational Administration) it looks like usage is focused on a single journal, but most seem to bring in content from multiple titles — for example, BSc Criminology is bringing in content from:

One of the opportunities here is to use the journal usage data to identify potentially relavant journals that aren’t being used on a course and include those in the feed. In the above example, the Journal of criminal justice might be such a journal.

10 thoughts on “Course level journal article feed”

  1. “for a given course, identify the most frequently accessed journal titles” is this online accesses, i.e. stats from a link resolver? if so how do you link log entries with users on a particular course?

  2. Yep — it’s just from the hits on the link resolver. As long as the user’s authenticated, we can log the course info.

  3. Do the RSS feeds contain links to both licensed and non-licensed copies for your institution? I’ve thought about doing something like this, but haven’t figured out how to deal with that. In some cases the publisher feed from tictoc might not be licensed by our institution, but we might have that same content on an aggregator platform. Which is unfortunate to send the user to the ‘wrong’ copy.
    Any thoughts on all this?

  4. HI Jonathan
    Damn — I’d not thought of that! Plus, I guess there’ll also be issues with embargos on recent issues :-S
    It looks like the majority of the journals are linking though to platforms that we subscribe to, but it’d definitely be better if the user was being sent to the link resolver.

  5. Had a thought on the way to work — maybe a better approach would be to use the Summon API (rather than JournalTOCs) to locate new articles in specific journals? That way, any embargo’d articles would only appear once they’re available and the article links would go via the link resolver.

  6. I’ve been doing something similar for Subject Hubs in our VLE using Yahoo pipes with feeds from TicTocs I’ve created Academic news rss feeds on Diversity, Fraud, Terrorism, Public Protection, Cybercrime and Policing.
    I’m also creating General news (from free news sites) and Official news (from government websites) feeds on the same feeds. The latter are fine for public facing sites but for the Academic ones I do stick to our own subscribed titles. Am now thinking I might look at delicious and Google Search feeds as well as a way of highlighting current material.
    Feedback from member of staff using analytics on the terrorism hub is that students use the General news feed heavily but he uses the Academic one to feed into discussions and add items to reading lists

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