What is RSS?What are the benefits of RSS?How does RSS work?What kinds of RSS readers are available?What do I do with RSS feeds after I have chosen an RSS reader?How do I find out about RSS?What RSS feeds are available on the NIGMS Web site?Why is the RSS feed not showing properly on my Google Chrome browser?
RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication." It is one of the information technology formats being used today by news and data Web sites to distribute "feeds"--lists of headlines, update notices, and sometimes content--to a wide number of people.
RSS benefits organizations that update their content and users who want frequent updates to news, calendars or text they select.
With RSS, organizations can distribute updated content in a clear and concise manner, avoiding the confusion and disorganization of a mass e-mail notifying users about updated content.
Users can get the latest headlines and articles (or even audio files, photographs or video) from one place as soon as it's published, without having to visit several different Web sites every day.
RSS is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), a language designed to store, carry and exchange data over the Web. Information is placed into a file (usually with an .xml or .rss file extension) that is stored on a Web server.
Web site publishers create an XML or RSS file containing, for example, updated headlines, along with the URLs to the specific Web pages and a description of the updated content.
Users can then access an RSS reader--a program to collect and monitor their favorite Web sites or feeds in one centralized location. This reader can check a list of feeds on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that it finds. Feed readers provide a simple way to consolidate content as well as to notify users when changes have been made.
Please note: Most modern browsers display feeds, but if it looks like
raw code, you may have to install a RSS reader.
There are many different types of RSS readers--some Web-based and some that need to be downloaded to your local computer. Each has different advantages.
Browser-based RSS readers allow you to check your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer.
Software-based RSS readers let you store feeds on your main computer in the same way that you download your e-mail using Microsoft Outlook.
If you are not sure which RSS reader to choose, you can find extensive lists of RSS readers on
. To assist you in finding the reader that is best for you, both sites organize their list of RSS readers by readers that are Web-based, PC-based, Macintosh-based, e-mail-based, handheld-based, etc. NIGMS does not recommend or endorse any reader in particular.
Once you have chosen an RSS reader, you have to decide what content you want to receive by finding and subscribing to the relevant RSS feeds. For example, if you would like to receive the latest NIGMS news releases, simply visit the News section on the NIGMS home page and you will notice an orange RSS button on the right-hand side.
You can add an RSS feed to your favorite personal Web site portal, like My Yahoo, MyMSN or Google, so when you call up that personalized page you will always see the latest news from NIGMS.
To add an RSS feed you will need the URL. Simply copy the URL and paste it into your particular news reader/aggregator to subscribe.
Sites offering RSS feeds indicate they have these feeds by displaying one of the following icons on their site:
. The buttons are often linked directly to the RSS feed files themselves.
The RSS feeds available on the NIGMS Web site are indicated by the
At this time, the following RSS feeds are available:
Go to Web page |
Biomedical BeatGo to Web page |
By default Google Chrome does not display/render XML content on the browser. Instead, you see the RSS feed source code displayed on the page. This is because, Chrome does not have a proper XML parser yet. There are extensions you can download and install to view RSS feeds in Chrome. Visit the
Google Chrome Extensions
site for available RSS feed parsers.
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