Feeds available on the ACIAR website

What are RSS feeds?

RSS feeds allow you to see when websites have added new content. RSS has been said to stand for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication or Reader Subscription Services.

What do they do?

RSS feeds are a way to quickly find new information on a website without having to download whole website pages which may contain slow-loading graphics. RSS feeds include a headline and a short summary of the item. You can then decide whether to click on the link and read the full article or whether to skip it.

Getting started

To use RSS feeds, you need to either have a compatible browser or use a small program called an RSS reader or aggregator.

Each reader works slightly differently, so look for one that meets your needs and is compatible with your system.

Using an internet browser to access RSS

Some internet browsers, including Firefox, Opera and Safari, as well as Internet Explorer 7, automatically check for feeds for you when you visit a website, and display an icon when they find one. This can make subscribing to feeds much easier. The RSS feeds are then stored by the browser - usually in the Favourites or Bookmarks.

Older versions of IE don’t display the text of the feed well, so if you are planning on using them you should look at getting an RSS reader.

Getting an RSS reader or aggregator

There are many dedicated RSS readers available - some of which are accessed using a web-based reader, and some of which are downloadable applications. These offer quite a wide-range of features.

Browser or web-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer; whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your email using Outlook or keep it on a web-based service like Hotmail.

Many readers are available as free downloads. You will find a list of free RSS feed readers at RSS-INFO.com or at the DMOZ open directory project website.

Other free readers you might to look at are:

How do I find RSS feeds on a website?

To find which websites have enabled RSS feeds, look for an RSS link or XML symbol like this.

Adding the RSS feed to your reader

Each reader works slightly differently so read the Help section on either the website or in your browser or reader.