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Using RSS to Keep Up With Psychology

Sites with regularly updated content, such as journals, frequently offer newsfeeds of their content. These feeds permit subscription to regular updates, delivered automatically to you, transforming the way you work and stay current on the web.


RSS Icon

Keeping Up With Your Field Electronically: Getting Information    Delivered to Your Desktop

What is RSS?

RSS has been described as Tivo for the Internet...Netflix for the Internet...Podcasting for more than just audio...

"[RSS] Feeds are a way for websites large and small to distribute their content well beyond just visitors using browsers. Feeds permit subscription to regular updates, delivered automatically via a web portal, news reader, or in some cases good old email. Feeds also make it possible for site content to be packaged into "widgets," "gadgets," mobile devices, and other bite-sized technologies that make it possible to display blogs, podcasts, and major news/sports/weather/whatever headlines just about anywhere."

-Google's Feedburner Help Center - Feed 101 Page

RSS Visual Explanation
Image courtesy of

How can I identify an RSS feed?

Generic RSS Feed Icon may appear on a web page when a feed is available.


Firefox: Blue Feed Icon appears in URL bar when a feed is available.


Internet Explorer: Orange Feed Icon with drop down list of available feeds appears below search box on right when a feed (or feeds) is available.


Safari: Blue RSS icon appears in URL bar when a feed is available.


RSS icons

Other icons may appear within a web page to indicate that a feed is available. (Image courtesy of the RSS Advisory Board)

What does an RSS file look like?

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1" ?>
<rss version="2.0">

    <title>W3Schools Home Page</title>
    <description>Free web building tutorials</description>
            <title>RSS Tutorial</title>
            <description>New RSS tutorial on W3Schools</description>
            <title>XML Tutorial</title>
            <description>New XML tutorial on W3Schools</description>



Sample courtesy of the W3 Schools

Sample RSS Subscription

Most recent headlines from the journal Nature. Mouse over each headline for a summary.

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Video Explanation of RSS

YouTube video from Common Craft.