American Institute of Biological Sciences logo is a resource of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.


RSS: Easy Access to Updates publishes an RSS feed featuring updates on its new content. The information below provides a brief explanation of RSS and some links to tools and information to help you use the technology.

What is it?

RSS is short for Really Simple Syndication. Feeds let you collect the latest information from a wide variety of sites and display it all in one place. Many websites have links labeled “XML” or “RSS” or “Atom”. Some sites display an orange button that says RSS or XML instead of just a link. This tells you that you can subscribe to the site’s feed to find out about updates to that site.

To subscribe, you must first set up your computer to receive feeds. When your computer is set up, you can choose to receive feeds from any of your favorite Internet sites that publish feeds. Each feed that comes to you will contain headlines and a description. You can then click on the headline to read the full story.

Some feed readers support podcasting, which includes media files such as video or audio. These readers download the files to a portable device or to your computer so you can access them at your convenience.

Why Use It?

RSS is an simple way for you to check for content that interests you without having to continually visit web sites to which you subscribed. Your RSS reader will scan your subscribed sites regularly, displaying the most recent content posted.

How do I set it up?

You need a feed reader, sometimes called a news reader, RSS reader, or RSS client. This tool lets you subscribe to any feeds you wish. Many of them are free or free on a trial basis. Some browsers have support for built-in feeds.

There are two types of feed reader: web-based, or as a program that you can install on your computer. The advantage of the first is that you can access your feeds from anywhere. However, the latter allows feeds to be stored on your computer even if you’re not connected to the Internet.

An extensive list of web-based feed readers can be found at Some choices are:

» Bloglines (
» Google Reader (
» My Yahoo! (
» NewsGator Online (

A good list of feed reader software to install is at

Some choices are:
» FeedDemon (
» NewzCrawler (
» NetNewsWire (for Mac) (
» Newsfire (for Mac) (

How do I subscribe to

Now that your computer can receive feeds, you want to find the feeds of interest to you. It’s simple. Visit favorite sites on the web and look links that say XML, RSS, or Syndication, or for the orange button. Click on the icon or text to add the feeds. Depending on your feed reader, you may have to copy the URL of the feeds and paste it into your reader.

To subscribe to the feed, click on the orange feed icon at the bottom of every page on the site. Or, copy and paste the feed URL to your reader:

To subscribe to other feeds from The American Institute of Biological Sciences, visit:

Where do I find more info?

For more information about the technology and how to use it, you can start at and follow the links.