Friday, March 04, 2005

Wake up, ACM.

The ACM is the mothership of all CS endeavours. It runs most of our conferences, has the excellent digital library, and dishes out some of the most prestigious awards in the field. But those of us who use the ACM's services on a regular basis know that its affinity for technology is, how shall I say this politely, somewhat on the weaker side. Try buying anything from the ACM store online and you'll see what I mean.

Current case in point: RSS. A recent issue of CACM covered the blogosphere in great detail, so clearly the ACM is familar with the notion of RSS. However, there are still no RSS feeds for tables of contents for journals. ACM instead provides a TOCalert email service, something that was in vogue quite some years ago.

There is now a standard for RSS feeds from journals. Nature Publishing Group, that publishes most of the Nature:XX journals, provides RSS feeds for all of its journals. The IEEE provides feeds for its journals (though not in the PRISM standard format). The ArXiv provides feeds on all subject categories.Why can't the ACM ?

The reason I bring this up has to do with CiteULike. One of the things you can do with CiteULike is track RSS feeds of many journals archived there. There are numerous CS journals, including many in the area of machine learning. However, since the ACM doesn't provide RSS feeds, these can't be tracked inside CiteULike.

Even if ACM can't provide feeds in a standard format, any feed would be useful. Maybe some of you readers know people who know people who know people.... inside ACM ?
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