News from ticTOCs

Where academics and researchers keep up-to-date

ticTOCs update

Posted by Roddy MacLeod on April 17, 2008

This blog has been quiet for some time now, but this does not mean that we’ve not been busy!

By mid-May, we will release a new and improved prototype, with various features, including a facility to log-in and save TOCs, subject browse and a directory of nearly 7,000 TOCs from numerous publishers. TOCs have been added for journals from Portland Press, Thomas Telford/ICE, IUCR, Hesperia, WARC, Revues, the American Heart Association, and other publishers.

Geoff Bilder, from CrossRef, one of the partners in the ticTOCs project, has been chairing a working party which has been drafting recommendations for best practice, covering what information publishers should include in journal TOC RSS feeds, and the best way to structure that information. When these are available, an announcement will be made in this blog.

An article has appeared in Multimedia Information & Technology, 34(1), February 2008, pp. 14-16, entitled: ticTOCs – Taking the pain out of RSS for journal tables of contents.

Two breakout sessions on The ticTOCs Project were held at the UKSG 2008 conference in Torquay, UK. The sessions were well attended and there was interest from the publishers present as well as librarians. The presentation was in five parts – RSS TOCs in context; the ticTOCs project outline; a demo of the two pilots; standards; development ideas.

Slides are at http://www.slideshare.net/libram/the-tictocs-project-transforming-current-awareness/

Attendees were asked for their opinions on several development ideas. Generally speaking, opinion seemed divided over the potential usefulness of enabling search within all articles in the ticTOCs database; opinion was strongly in favour of enabling the export of items to bibliographic management software such as RefWorks from within ticTOCs; in favour of the idea of providing alerts by email and/or other formats; strongly in favour of enabling the filtering of long TOCs; and in favour of facilitating the re-presenting of TOCs and OPML files of TOC feeds in blogs and other websites.

In future posts, and once the new prototype is available, we hope to ask for opinions from readers of this blog on various development ideas.

A paper on ticTOCs, and the associated Gold Dust project will be given at the Inforum conference at the end of May, entitled RSS and current awareness: how two projects (ticTOCs and Gold Dust) are hoping to improve the academic information landscape.

Roddy MacLeod
ticTOCs Management Support

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