ticTOCs: Journal Tables of Contents

I read in this week’s FreePint Newsletter about a grant-funded project called “ticTOCs. This a tool to bring journal tables of contents (the TOCs) from multiple publishers to patrons through an interface as simple as ticking off a series of boxes. From ticTOCs in a Nutshell:

In March 2005 there were 1,139 journal TOC RSS feeds available from 13 publishers, and by October 2006 this had risen to 7,042 feeds from 38 publishers. In addition, there are third party feeds from services such as Zetoc and Ingenta. Today, therefore, there are metadata syndication possibilities for TOCs. The way it works just now suits some people, however it requires some understanding of the concepts, and can be confusing. There are various publisher websites and feeds and aggregator feeds, various desktop readers and web-based readers, and various confusing icons.

While this project is still in development, it shows promise for standardizing the interface and content available from publishers (some of whom, we know, provide titles and links while others add abstracts, tagging, or other information to their table of contents feeds). ticTOCs will be a layer on top of RSS making it simpler for information-seekers to get the tables of contents they want, in a consistent and reliable format.