Posted on June 27th, 2013 by Robin Barbier
Text: Jorden Esser, information specialist TU Delft Library
Feed readers are a perfect way of keeping up to date on scientific literature, news and information quickly and efficiently. All you need to do is subscribe to an RSS feed, for example via a website. If an RSS feed is available, you can generally recognise it from the orange radio symbol.
Many of the sources at TU Delft Library offer the option of an RSS feed. For example, there is a feed for the news on our homepage and Discover has an option that enables you to save search queries as an RSS feed. If new publications on that subject appear in Discover later, your feed reader will automatically update you.
Bibliographic databases, including Web of Science and Scopus, have an option for setting a watch on search queries. This can be useful if you wish to stay informed about new publications in your research area whilst conducting research.
Google Reader, the most popular free online feed reader, is no longer available from 1 July 2013. Fortunately, there are good alternatives available. Here is a brief summary of the most frequently talked-about alternatives:
Feedly currently seems to be the most promising. It has a stylish design, an extension for most browsers and apps for Android and iOS. Feedly has also promised that users who currently use their Google account to log in will soon be able to switch to the Feedly service seamlessly and automatically.
Netvibes has the advantage of not requiring any extensions: you can use it in any browser. As well as a reader, it also has a social media dashboard, but you do not have to use that feature if you do not need it and it is fortunately totally unobtrusive.
The Old Reader looks rather rudimentary: it is the most like Google Reader in terms of its layout. There are extensions for Chrome and Firefox and the website also works perfectly on mobile devices.
Finally, there is Newsblur. Although it is not (totally) free of charge, it has received a lot of attention and praise for its layout and features. The free version is limited to 64 sites (feeds).
Would you like to know more about RSS? If so, view the instructions: Keeping up to date with RSS in Tulib.
You can also find full details about feed readers at Wikipedia: Comparison of feed aggregators