RSS feeds allow you to receive updates whenever new content is added to a library database on a particular topic, or whenever a new issue of a journal is added to a library database.
RSS works by sending automatic updates to an RSS feed reader rather than an email address; this allows you to stay on top of research in your field without constant searching and without cluttering up your inbox. For more information, please see the University of Chicago's excellent guide to RSS: http://www.uchicago.edu/feeds/what-is-rss.shtml.
To receive RSS alerts, you will need two things: a feed reader, and the URL for the RSS feed. Google Reader and My Yahoo! are two recommended web-based feed readers; you can also subscribe to RSS feeds through an email program like Outlook 2007 or Thunderbird if you prefer a desktop-based reader.
Once you have a feed reader, you will need to poulate it with the URLs of RSS feeds. RSS feeds are available in all EBSCOhost and ProQuest databases.
When you subscribe to an RSS feed, you will always know about new content that has been added to the feed. For example, the items below are from an Academic Search Premier RSS feed for articles on global warming and corporate social responsibility. The contents of the box change whenever a new article on the topic is added to Academic Search Premier: