ACS Feeds: Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

I know everyone hates rss posts, but the latest ACS feeds updates is causing havoc for chemists dependent on their graphical abstracts fix (3000 people have visited the JACS feed in the past 9 months through ChemFeeds). It was bad enough that it dragged me from experiments to patch ChemFeeds and make me write this post.

The good parts of the ACS feeds update: 1) ACS now includes author names in the feeds instead of only the first author and appending “et al.“. Thus, I have updated ChemFeeds to display authors for ACS journals (simply hover over the abstract title) 2) The journal Analytical Chemistry now has graphical abstracts.

The Bad: 1)They don’t provide a link to ACS’s abstract page. The link provided takes the user to which may not resolve to the publisher’s website for days.

I’m not sure why ACS decided to run all their in-house feeds through a third party like feedburner. My best guess is they wanted to track who and how people were using their feeds, but there are better ways to accomplish that.

Also covered by Sam.

Update (Sept 6th): After submitting this post ACS has again updated their feed structure and removed author names, dois, and all XML elements. Their feed architecture is nonexistent. ACS is basically running backwards at this point. It would be impossible to make it compatible with ChemFeeds or extract any information from it based on how badly the code is written. Apparently this is a feedburner feature that hides the source XML from view.


One Comment

  1. Rajani Benimadhavan says:

    I was in my undergrad studies and doinng inorganic lab work. I was preparing dil H2SO4. I poured water on H2SO4 in a bottle by mistake (i hope everyone knows thats very exothermic and dangerous, and one actually must add H2SO4 to water slowly and gently). The bottle was so hot that when I lifted the bottle, the lower base of the bottle just ripped of, and the dil H2SO4 spilled over my trouser burning the trouser and thigh. It was neasrly an inch below my genital, and I could have lost my asset, literally. I was in a trauma the rest of the day and couple of days ahead.

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