What Is RSS?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It's an easy way for you to keep up with news and information that's important to you, and helps you avoid the conventional methods of browsing or searching for information on websites. Now the content you want can be delivered directly to you without cluttering your inbox with e-mail messages. This content is called a "feed."
RSS is written in the Internet coding language known as XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which is why you see RSS buttons commonly labeled with this icon:
What Is an RSS Reader?
An RSS reader is a small software program that collects and displays RSS feeds. It allows you to scan headlines from a number of news sources in a central location.
Where Can I Get an RSS Reader?
There are many RSS news readers (also called aggregators) available for download from the Internet. CDC does not endorse any particular reader. Some browsers such as the current versions of Firefox and Safari as well as some portals like Yahoo offer RSS services for their subscribers. Here is a listing of some feed readers and news aggregators.* Some are free to download and others are available for purchase.
How Do I Use RSS Feeds?
The first step is to choose an RSS reader. Each reader has a slightly different way of adding a new feed, also called a "channel." Follow the directions for your reader but, in most cases, here's how it works:
Click on the link or more likely, the small XML button near the feed you want. Once you do so, you will see a page displaying XML code.
Example: Ahead of Print
- From your web browser's address bar, copy the URL (web address). For example, the URL you would copy for the Ahead of Print articles is: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/rss/upcoming.xml
- Paste that URL into the "Add New Channel" or “Add New Feed” section of the reader. The RSS feed will start to display and regularly update the headlines for you.
- Page created: January 22, 2010
- Page last updated: July 24, 2012
- Page last reviewed: July 24, 2012
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
Office of the Director (OD)