Quick thoughts on syndication.

I'm planning on putting together a post some time looking at the major journal publishers and their online alert setups. In the meantime here are some quick thoughts.

Email alerts make sense for those select few publications which you follow closely. But if your interest is only peripheral or intermittent then having abstracts or TOCs appear in your inbox is a nuisance.

RSS feeds scale much less annoyingly, provided you have a good reader. But if you're not using RSS already then it can be a non-trivial change to your workflow, and one that doesn't always stick. In both cases the initial setup is something of a pain.

What is needed is a way to get a general sense of what is out there in the academic aether without being directly pestered by (sometimes screwy) subscriptions to 30+ publications.

This blog is an attempt at one sort of a solution. Up the ladder of reliability (and down that of belligerence) is this page from Routledge's 'sociology arena'. This seems an easy and simple solution (there's no signup or setup and I assume it's just a preset RSS aggregator). All you'd have to do is bookmark it (and tag it) and you can get an occasional, hassle free picture of what distant but allied weirdos are writing about.

Anyway, I'll come back to all this. (Hopefully with a link to a nice aggregator that covers all the major publishers. Possibly via Gregarius...).