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IRM10 – RefWorks to deliver ‘new titles’

This session from Paul Stainthorp (University of Lincoln) is looking at how he has used RefWorks to power ‘new titles’ lists for the library website.

‘New title’ lists are lists of new resources that have been purchased by the library – a way of informing staff and students what is being bought, and what the latest acquisitions are. Demand for the service from faculties, and also a way of the library being accountable. It has been done in the past, but using paper lists, which was time consuming.

Unfortunately the library system used at Lincoln doesn’t have this functionality out of the box, and the library doesn’t have the resources to add on the functionality. So looked at using existing tools to do it instead. Subject librarians and students already familiar with RefWorks – Paul has been promoting it for the last 3 years!

Paul working within the constraints of current systems and current working practices. So, he set to design something using RefWorks, Yahoo Pipes, Google Feedburner, Feed2JS.

When a new book is received it is added to a RefWorks account – organised by subject – e.g. add all books on journalism to a single folder. Then use the ‘RefShare’ functionality to publish the folder as a RSS feed. Paul is happy at this point – everything from this point on is window dressing 🙂

Paul then uses Yahoo Pipes (it’s good, free and powerful, but perhaps not for everyone). Yahoo pipes extracts ISBN from RefWorks RSS feed, then checks for information on Amazon.co.uk – if it finds anything it enhances the reference, it formats it nicely, creates a link from the item to the OPAC (using ISBN) and strips out any extraneous information. Typical enhancement from Amazon is cover image. Also adds links to other services – e.g. RefWorks, Google Books, LibraryThing, Amazon.

Feedburner used to shorten the URL for the RSS feed, allows email subscriptions to RSS feed. Feed2JS used to enable the display of the lists within web pages – specifically Blackboard.

See slides at http://www.slideshare.net/pstainthorp/feed-me-weird-things-using-refworks-rss-feeds-for-new-title-lists


  • Jan 14th 201013:01
    by Aaron Tay

    Hmm but we don’t have refworks. Can this be adapted to something like Zotero, Mendeley ie any “Free” ref manager that allows you to output citations in RSS?

  • Jan 14th 201015:01
    by Paul S.

    Absolutely. Any bibliographic RSS feed whose elements contain an ISBN should be fine. The Yahoo Pipe would need cloning and adapting, but it should be perfectly possible.


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  • […] I gave a presentation about hacking RefWorks to create new-book feeds (blog|slides). […]

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