In order to keep abreast of developments in their fields, scholars make use of a wide range of information sources--especially news articles and scholarly journals. These sources are scattered in a number of locations, both in print and electronic. Increasingly, these sources are available electronically, but even in this format they must still be tracked down separately, costing scholars valuable time.
At the same time, the output of scholarly publishing is ever-increasing. Electronic communications have made it easier to keep up with current scholarship but also increased the necessity of timely access to information.
A Solution: RSS
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. The latter phrase is probably the best way to think about it. Basically, RSS feeds address the problem of keeping up with current scholarship by receiving information from your favorite websites in one place--an RSS reader--so that you don't have to check each site for updates.
Each time the feed is updated (i.e., new articles are published in the journal), the results will be displayed in the feed.
Many different kinds of sites--including most major news sources and many academic journals--now have RSS feeds.
For those sites that don't, you can create an RSS feed using the website Page 2 RSS.
See the Wikipedia entry for RSS.
Keeping Up With Current Scholarship
Using RSS feeds to get updates from news sources and scholarly journals.
RSS in Plain English
Youtube video explaining the basic concept of RSS feeds and how they can help one keep abreast of information. For "blogs," substitute "scholarly journals."