Feeding the five thousand (2)

By Nick Holmes on October 24, 2007
4 comments
Filed under Feeds

Lo-fi librarian bemoans the lack of RSS feeds for new title information from the law publishers.

Feeds for new titles and editions is such a no brainer, in my view everyone would benefit, there is less chance of a new text being overlooked and ordered late so the user is happy, the librarian saves time and eyesight and the reps would be under less pressure to produce unwieldy spreadsheets.

We’ve been here before. I simply do not understand why LexisNexis, Thomson et al will spend millions on their web “products” but appear not to have a clue how to make everyone’s life easier and “sell” their core print/CD product releases via RSS information feeds.

So I have taken some recent new books data from S&M and Jordans, put it in the infolaw Lawfinder database and enabled RSS feeds for that part of the database.

Here’s the link to a prototype Lawfinder New Books section. Browse the appropriate publisher and you’ll find their latest titles listed last first; or grab the feed which lists the last 30.

The data comes directly from the publishers’ spreadsheets/pdfs. Only 2007 titles published up to the last completed month are included and the publication dates are all recorded as the 1st of the publication month. The links I have constructed using their URL search query syntax for ISBN searches (though some of the S&M ISBN queries don’t find anything – surprise, surprise).

It should not be too much of a sweat to update this every couple of months when the publishers send their spreadsheets/pdfs, but I’m not committing to that: tell me there’s something in it for me. And, more to the point, why can’t they produce their own feeds in the first place?

4 comments

Canadian law librarians have been on a purposeful campaign since February 2006 to get new titles as RSS feeds from the major Canadian legal publishers. Just this month we managed to get the final big publisher on board. See my post on SLAW with the info (with historical links to the campaign at the bottom): Thankful For Publishers Listening.

It was not just me who accomplished this; a lot of librarians pushed their sales reps as well. Point them to their Canadian counterparts!! We also buy UK titles so would like to see this as well.

All the best,
Connie

by Connie Crosby on 24 October 2007 at 9:18 pm. #

Excellent results in Canada, Connie. Let’s hope we can move things on quickly here.

by Nick Holmes on 24 October 2007 at 10:56 pm. #

Fantastic work Nick!
Hopefully this will help show the publishers that this is something that we need and is easy for them to provide. We shouldn’t have to homebrew this kind of solution ourselves when it’s such an easy win for them.
The success in Canada will hopefully help our cause as well – we’ll rally together the forces and take on the man!

by Jennifer on 26 October 2007 at 1:50 pm. #

Good work, Nick – I think law librarians in the UK do need to push for this, and they would, I think have the backing of the academics (at least those who know what RSS is…)

What I would love to see is one aggregated RSS feed for all publishers, but divided by subject matter. Something akin to what Zetoc does now (and Zetoc does have RSS feeds as well).

by Martin on 27 October 2007 at 5:11 pm. #