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Staying up to date: Alerting & current awareness services: More about RSS

This guide provides information about how to set up alerts to be notified of new information in your field across resources such as journals, books, websites, conferences, research data and funding.

What is RSS?

RSS is a format for delivering information on sites that update regularly. 

It has advantages over email because you do not have to sign up for access to feeds. Instead you subscribe by entering the url for the feed into your chosen method of access.

Most news services and many blogs or other sites updating regularly provide rss feeds. Many Library databases also provide journal table of contents and search results by rss feed.

You can read RSS feeds in a number of ways, including using feed readers, web browsers and Microsoft Outlook. See below for instructions on how to set them up.

Feed Readers

Feed readers are software designed to read RSS feeds. Both web based and desktop versions are available.

Web based readers

Web based readers are available anywhere you can access a web browser. Many also provide apps for mobile devices.

Desktop readers

These download and store items so you can view articles in feeds without a web browser or internet connection. You can also subscribe to password protected feeds (not always available in web readers).

Adding RSS feeds to Microsoft Outlook

It is very easy to add RSS feeds to the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook.

Look for the RSS icon on a webpage and right click to copy the url for the feed 

In Outlook, in the Mail Navigation Pane, right-click RSS Feeds (Outlook 2013) or RSS Subscriptions (Outlook 2016), and then click Add a New RSS Feed

right click on RSS folder to add feed to Outlook

In the dialog box that appears, paste the address you copied earlier into the box, click Add, and click Yes.

Enter URL for feed and click Add

Click Yes to add the feed to Outlook

Note you cannot add feeds in the online version of Outlook. Instead see options to add feeds to your browser.

Accessing RSS feeds in Chrome

Chrome does not provide an inbuilt RSS feed option. You can find a number of extensions through the Chrome Web Store by searching for the term RSS.

Adding RSS feeds to Internet Explorer & Firefox

To add RSS feeds to Internet Explorer or Firefox:

  1. Go to the RSS feed website
  2. At the top of the screen above the feed it will ask if you want to subscribe:

    Internet Explorer


  3. Click Subscribe and then name the feed in the pop up window.
    1. In Firefox, choose the folder – Bookmarks Toolbar
    2. In Internet Explorer, tick the checkbox to Add to Favourites Bar
  4. Your feed will now appear in your bookmarks bar.
  5. To view your feeds:

    Internet Explorer
    On your Favourites bar, click on the down arrow to view new items:


Feeds will appear in the RSS feed folder on your bookmark bar. Choose a feed to view from the list.

The headlines for that feed will appear on the left of your bookmark bar as a ticker. Click on the down arrow to see the list of all unread items on the feed:

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