Updated Options for Quarterly Pub Collect / Distribute Process
Starting on Friday last week (3/14), 20 new publications got pushed out via the PNW-specific TreeSearch RSS feed I’d shared earlier.
· This triggered an update of my test Feedburner feed, and the e-mail summary I signed up for, see forwarded message below
Unfortunately, on inspection, I noticed a problem – seven (7) of the pubs are actually just “old” items that have recently been added to RITS (example: 2013 PNW Science Accomplishments).
· I Just logged in to RITS and confirmed that “TreeSearch RSS” publication directly correlates to “Accession Number” in RITS.
o This means we have several 1990s publications, and a few early 2000s getting pushed out as “recent publications.”
· While this does not invalidates the utility of subscribing via the “Top 20 Recent Publications” RSS feed;
· It complicates the approach I initially thought would be “simple”
o Adds a step of manually “filtering out” old, but recently modified pubs.
Finding: TreeSearch RSS feed is linked to RITS “Product ID”
· accurate in the sense that “these are new publications to TreeSearch;”
· inaccurate in sense that “these are our most recent PNW publications.”
Hypothetically, one could:
· Subscribe to the RSS feed;
· Let Outlook passively collect your RITS updates;
· Check it quarterly;
· Process collected items
Unfortunately, you’d have to “weed out” the backlogged or just plain “old” entries pushed out by the TreeSearch RSS feed.
Therefore, the “safest” option with “least amount of work” would probably be:
· log in to RITS
· visit the “Products and Services Search,”
· sort by “Year” field (see image below).
· Copy and paste table data to a spreadsheet (as we initially tried)
· Once in the spreadsheet, sort by accession number (Product ID, always ascending as new records are added R&D wide)
Once that step is figured out, we arrive at the question:
How do we distribute new publications?
I completed a “survey of the field” of how various FS R&D entities are approaching publication distribution.
Please see attached spreadsheet (survey-of-pubs-distribute-mechanisms.xlsx)
So far, choices appear to be mix of Content Management System (CMS), Listserv, or some e-mail marketing tool (ConstantContact or MailChimp) as below:
1. Drupal CMS
2. Drupal CMS + native XML
3. WordPress CMS
4. WordPress CMS + Newsletter Plugin
7. RSS (Unknown USDA CMS + native XML)
8. Unknown CMS (Unable to determine CMS)
9. Unknown USDA CMS (mid 2000s – current FS.FED.US CMS)
10. USDA Newsbox ListServ
The “low hanging fruit” would probably be to use USDA Newsbox Listserv.
Another one would be:
· activate a native XML feed for our upcoming PNW Drupal site
· subscribe to the XML for that
· use the Feedburner service to generate an HTML formatted e-mail.
That’s about as fully automated as you can get, while maintaining strict control via the Drupal Site, i.e, no “1993” publications get into our feed
My recommendation would be to start with the “low hanging fruit” of a Newsbox listserv.
· Establish what the burden of creating these “publication alerts” might be
o Low effort?
o Lots of effort?
· Launch a “New Publications Alert” service – new alert for each individual publication
· Combine all the alerts each quarter into your “quarterly publications blast”
Meanwhile, evaluate the costs / benefits of the various other technologies for the “quarterly update”
(Which could itself be a separate Newsbox listserv)
· I do not know if ConstantContact or MailChimp are free (I suspect not).
§ Special note: ONE of the various orgs (USDA ERS) appears to have a ConstantContact for 28 different units (Farm Bill, FNA, Rice Outlook, Wheat Outlook, etc)
· Perhaps FS R&D could pay for an overall ConstantContact subscription for the various labs?
§ Free for 2,000 or less subscribers
Begs the question: do we have a budget for this?
Other than that, I think I need to work on documenting precisely how one carefully copies and pastes from RITS to an Excel Spreadsheet to create one similar to the one I have attached (PNW-Quarterly-Pubs-Update.xlsx)
From: Tanner Jessel [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2017 10:16 AM
To: Jessel, Tanner – FS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Fwd: Top 20 PNW Pubs