I’ve banged on quite a bit about Tables of Contents (TOC) RSS feeds for scholarly journals, e.g. Many Open Access (OA) journals don’t have Table of Contents RSS feeds, and they are therefore missing out a great deal. That post explains many of the benefits, to all types of scholarly journals, including commercially published, Open Access, etc, of having TOC RSS feeds.
Looking at some Google Reader RSS TOC subscriptions for journals, the benefits are immediately obvious.
The Physics Today magazine TOC RSS feed has over 10,500 subscribers via Reader. That means that 10,500 viewers potentially read the Table of Contents for Physics Today via Reader.
There are over 87,000 subscribers, via Google Reader, to the Tables of Contents RSS feed of Science magazine.
There are over 5,900 subscribers, via Google Reader, to the Tables of Contents RSS feed of Nature magazine.
Of course, not all journals will have as many subscribers to their feeds, but plenty less well-known journals attract a significant number of people to their websites via TOC RSS. And, of course, Google Reader is only one of several ways in which people can view RSS feeds. The following are some fairly random examples of subs to scholarly journal TOC RSS feeds from Google Reader.
The Electronic Library TOC feed has over 300 subscribers via Reader.
AIAA Journal TOC feed has over 180 subscribers via Reader.
PLoS Computational Biology TOC feed has over 1,500 subscribers via Reader.
Advances in Mechanical Engineering TOC feed has over 50 subscribers via Reader.
Advances in Chemical Engineering TOC feed has over 35 subscribers via Reader.
The Internet and Higher Education TOC feed has over 90 subscribers via Reader.
American Journal of Psychiatry TOC feed has over 1,500 subscribers via Reader.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment TOC feed has over 440 subscribers via Reader.
Feeds for all of the above, plus over 14,700 other journals, can be found at JournalTOCs, the journal Tables of Contents service.