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Why publishers should never NOINDEX their RSS feeds

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NoIndex

Last week, JournalTOCs stopped indexing all of the 40 journals published by OA Publishing London because this publisher took the unusual and illogical measure of requesting aggregators not to index (aggregate) the RSS feeds for the current issues of its journals. Tables of Contents from the OA Publishing London journals will no longer be updated at JournalTOCs. Those who have been following any of the 40 journals will not be able to keep up with new issues.

Why would OA Publishing London want to stop aggregators and search engines from crawling and collecting its RSS feeds? Years ago, it might just have made some sense using the noindex meta-tag for RSS feeds, but nowadays there is no need to noindex such feeds. Google and the rest of modern search engines can easily identify RSS feeds and they act on that by not including RSS feeds in web search results.

Publishers should, in reality, very much want their RSS feeds to be indexed, because it can help aggregators and search engines to direct users to where the newest content is. Search engines are smart enough to understand the difference between a feed and webpage, and use the feed as a pointer to the webpage where the real source of the content resides. Allowing search engines to index RSS feeds is therefore an important way to drive traffic to the webpages of the actual content.

There is no scenario in which a publisher is not interested in having their latest content indexed. Old feeds generators, such as the deprecated Feedburner, still provide users with the outdated option to noindex feeds to prevent them from being penalized by search engines. Publishers need to be reassured that that it is no longer an issue, and indexed feeds do not create penalty situations. Google itself will normally not show RSS feeds in search results.

The noindex meta-tag is not good for publishers. Any publisher who wants to enable RSS readers, aggregators and APIs to reuse details of their content should make sure to remove the noindex meta-tag from their RSS pages and from their software that generates RSS feeds.

The noindex meta-tag to be removed looks like this:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

This code tells search engines and aggregators that they should not index or crawl the content of the RSS feeds.

So, if you want the abstracts of your latest publications to be indexed by JournalTOCs, search engine, aggregator or any web service, and thus ensure that hundreds of thousands of potential readers can discover your content, you should make sure you ARE NOT using the noindex meta-tag.

The noindex meta-tag can help in search engine optimization (SOA) but it should be used wisely, rather than simply assuming that it’s always a good idea to use it. noindex should only be used for web pages you don’t want showing up in search results or want to hide from the external world. For example a test page, archive page, or something similar that is not relevant for the publisher’s business; these should have the noindex tag, so that they don’t end up taking the place of the real important pages in search results (Google’s algorithm tends to avoid placing multiple links from the same domain on the front page (unless the website has a good ranking)).

For optimal crawling, Google recommends using also RSS/Atom feeds

RSS pages (feeds) are not only relevant pages; they are used by the search engines and aggregators to redirect users to your relevant webpages! They help to market your real content. They are good for everyone, including readers, authors, end users and for your business.

Written by Santiago Chumbe

January 26th, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Systematic identification of OA articles from hybrid journals

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JournalTOCs is pleased to announce that the automated identification of Open Access (OA) articles from hybrid journals has started to work today

This is a highly important development in the efforts being made towards enabling systematic and easy identification of Open Access articles for aggregators, discovery services and A&I providers.

Publishers start to enable the systematic identification of Open Access at the Article Level

These first results are the product of collaboration between JournalTOCs and more than 10 established commercial forward thinking publishers.

Being able to systematically and consistently identify Open Access articles, regardless where they have been published, has a huge potential for the progress of Open Access and could play a vital role in the success of using the hybrid model to migrate subscription-based titles to full Open Access in a sustainable way for authors, readers, librarians and publishers.

The technology behind this new service is the simple and easy to use TOC RSS feeds. RSS feeds are also relatively easy to implement.

A publisher wanting to support the automated discovery of Open Access from its journals only needs to create its RSS feeds by following these best practices and these steps.

Example showing how an OA article from a hybrid journal is identified by JournalTOCs:

OA article in a Hybrid journal

http://www.journaltocs.ac.uk/index.php?action=search&query=1740-0597

At this stage the OA articles are only identified as such by the OA logo Open Access and an orange background. As more publishers implement the <cc:license> and <dc:rights> standard elements in their RSS feeds, we will be able to provide information on the type of CC licence and the copyright holder for each OA article. The information will be obtained by combining the possible implementations of the <cc:license> and <dc:rights> elements:

Article copyright
Article copyright belongs to the publisher:
<dc:rights>Copyright © Publication_Year Publisher_Name</dc:rights>
Example:
<dc:rights>Copyright © 2014 ScienceMed Publisher Ltd</dc:rights>
 
Article copyright belongs to the author(s):
<dc:rights>Copyright © Publication_Year First Author_Surname, First_Author_Initial [et al]</dc:rights>
Example:
<dc:rights>Copyright © 2014 Smith J.</dc:rights>
Type of Creative Commons licence (only for OA articles)
- for CC-BY licences:
<cc:license rdf:resource=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/” />
- for CC-BY-NC licenses:
<cc:license rdf:resource=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/” />
- for CC-BY-NC-SA licenses:
<cc:license rdf:resource=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/” />
- for CC-BY-NC-ND licenses:
<cc:license rdf:resource=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/” />
Subscription-based or non-OA articles
<cc:license></cc:license>
Example of an RSS feeds’ root element showing all the required namespaces to enable OA discovery at the article level:
<rdf:RDF
xmlns:rdf=”http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#
xmlns:prism=”http://prismstandard.org/namespaces/basic/2.0/
xmlns:dc=”http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/
xmlns:content=”http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/
xmlns:cc=”http://web.resource.org/cc/
xmlns=”http://purl.org/rss/1.0/
>

Written by Santiago Chumbe

April 7th, 2014 at 4:54 pm

JournalTOCs is continuing to grow. 24,000 Scholarly Journals are now included in the largest RSS-based alerting service for researchers

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As a result of adding 1000 more journals since October 2013, the number of scholarly journals whose latest Tables of Contents (TOCs) are included in the JournalTOCS alerting service for researchers has passed the 24,000 major milestone.

Almost half of those 1000 additions come from Hybrid and Subscription-based journals whose RSS feeds have been reviewed and upgraded. The second half includes Open Access journals and a few of relatively new journals.

Of the 24,000 Tables of Content included in JournalTOCs, over 7,500 are Open Access and almost 5,000 journals have been identified as Hybrid journals. The rapidly growing number of Hybrid journals is likely to significantly increase as more publishers offer OA options in a percentage, or in some cases in all of their journals. For example, almost all the 140 journals of Maney & Son Ltd indexed by JournalTOCs are now Hybrid journals as they offer OA options to authors. Hybrid journals at JournalTOCs are identified by this icon Hybrid Journal.

Publishers, editors and readers are welcome to suggest journals to JournalTOCs, but quality of content is important, and JournalTOCs does not include journals that do not adhere to appropriate standards such as:

  • The journal has been actively publishing new online issues in a regular basis in the last two years. Journals that have published fewer than two issues are not included in JournalTOCs.
  • The journal has to publish professional, scientific or scholarly articles that have been peer-reviewed.
  • The journal must have an editor, an editorial board and a peer-review system.
  • The journal must publish TOC RSS feeds for its most recent issues.

Written by Santiago Chumbe

March 7th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek – JournalTOCs Collaboration

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The University Library of Regensburg and JournalTOCs concluded the implementation of a collaboration agreement to include in the Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek (Electronic Journals Library (EZB)) journals information to enable their users to access to new journal TOCs from their EZB web pages. The new EZB service including the links from JournalTOC was launched on 5th December, 2013. The project mutually benefits both parties. In exchange of receiving free access to the JournalTOCs API, EZB helps with providing feedback and testing new features developed for the API.

journal RSS feeds at EZB

Annually, many journal titles are transferred between publishers, cease publication, have their URLs changed, new titles are published, etc. JISC Collections estimated that over 3400 journal titles were transferred between publishers in the 2009-2011 period only. JournalTOCs is able to keep track of those changes in a systematic or automated way. In particular JournalTOCs can identify when the URL for a journal TOC RSS feeds have been changed, removed or when new TOC RSS feeds are made available. Thus, through its customised APIs, JournalTOCs constantly is providing up-to-date information on journal metadata to research libraries and service partners such as EZB.

EZB was founded in 1997 by the University Library of Regensburg, in Regensburg, Germany; with the aim of presenting e-journals content to library users in a clearly arranged one-stop user-interface and to create for the EZB member libraries and efficient administration tool for e-journal licences. Over 600 institutions from Germany are part of EZB, which is also used by subject libraries and information services. The EZB was a sponsored project by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Bavarian State and the German Research Foundation (DFG). Since 2010 all participant libraries pay a small fee to keep the service ongoing.

Prof. Rafael Ball, Director of the University Library Regensburg, said “We want to give our users more helpful data, so we would like to include the information of JournalTOCs. It would be possible e.g. to integrate the information of JournalTOCs with a symbol and a hint like ‘recent articles’ on the detail site of a journal in EZB. So our users would get the possibility to set a dynamic bookmark, if they want to; we hope to give them a new better benefit with this feature.

JournalTOCs carries out systematic research into new types of integration of journal metadata, and develops new web services for enabling institutions to benefit from the metadata collected by JournalTOCs. The core aim of this research is to ensure that other services can provide their end-users with tailored access to the latest literature published in scholarly journals. JournalTOCs is currently involved with research projects and collaborations, it highly values working with members of the research community and welcomes future opportunities for collaboration particularly in the fields of:

  • Metadata standards for systematic discovery of new research
  • Integration of TOCs metadata within library services
  • Identification and clustering of Open Access articles

You can get in touch with JournalTOCs at: journaltocs@hw.ac.uk

Written by Santiago Chumbe

January 31st, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Exporting Search Results to Reference Manager® (RefMan)

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From time to time, we receive questions about RefMan. For that reason, although Adept have no plans to release new versions of RefMan, we have prepared this small guide to help users needing to export search results from JournalTOCs to RefMan.

Let’s assume that your search query is:

Optical Coherence Tomography intravascular coronary imaging

  1. Sign in from http://www.journaltocs.ac.uk/index.php?action=signIn
  2. If you are a Premium user, select the Articles Tab and enter your search query as shown below:
     

    Premium Users

  3. If you are a Free user, enter your search query and tick the for Articles by Keywords option, as shown below:
     

    Premium Users

  4. Hit Go to execute your search
  5. The results listing the articles found for your search will be displayed as shown below:
     

    Premium Users

  6. When you click on the title of an article, the system will display its full citation and you will be able
    to tick the checkbox near to its title to save it in your Articles to Export page, as shown in the following example:
     

    Premium Users

  7. Repeat the previous step for all the articles you want to export.
  8. Go to your Articles to Export page (http://www.journaltocs.ac.uk/savedArticles.php) and click the Export to EndNote link to produce a compatible RIS file (EndNote®).
     

    Export to EndNote

  9. Follow the instructions at http://www.refman.com/support/faqs/import/faq3.asp to import the RIS file into your RefMan database.

Written by Santiago Chumbe

November 5th, 2013 at 1:56 pm