Web Magazine for Information Professionals


Roddy Macleod on EEVL's engagement with RSS channels.


EEVL is the Hub for engineering, mathematics and computing. It is an award-winning free service, which provides quick and reliable access to the best engineering, mathematics, and computing information available on the Internet. It is created and run by a team of information specialists from a number of universities and institutions in the UK, lead by Heriot Watt University. EEVL helps students, staff and researchers in higher and further education, as well as anyone else working, studying or looking for information in Engineering, Mathematics and Computing. It is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) through the Resource Discovery Network (RDN).

Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! - News about news.

In the last EEVL column I mentioned the fact that an RSS channel is available which includes additions to EEVL’s Internet Resource Catalogue. There is now a second RSS channel, called ‘EEVL News’ which provides the latest news from the EEVL Service. Information about both RSS channels is available from the Working with EEVL pages. For those who understand RSS and how it works, this is probably enough detail to enable the embedding of these channels into relevant Web sites. For the rest of us, what does this actually mean?

The best way to explain this is to actually do it right here.

So, I will include the following HTML code relevant to the latest additions to EEVL’s internet resource catalogue into this Ariadne article:

<!–New on EEVL. Latest 15 Records- RSS–>
<script src=
<!–End RSS –>

and the result will be what appears immediately below:

The above is a ‘live’ feed of the latest 15 records which have been added to EEVL’s Internet Resources Catalogue. It will automatically change every time a new record is added to the catalogue. This sort of news feed might be useful for inclusion in an intranet, or a departmental or faculty Web site, or in a library Web site.

To show the new EEVL News feed, I will include the following HTML code into this Ariadne article:

<!–News from the EEVL Service - RSS–>
<script type=“text/javascript” src=
<!–End RSS –>

The above is a ‘live’ feed of news from the EEVL service. If we at EEVL add a new item of news, then the list above will change the next time anyone views this Ariadne page. This news feed might be useful for anyone with a subject specific service which wanted to allow its users to see the latest happenings at EEVL.

Using these two RSS feeds allows EEVL to distribute news about the new records being added to the Internet Resource Catalogue, plus news about the service. These developments will shortly be reflected in a redesigned ‘News’ section on the EEVL site.

For those who might want to know more about RSS in general, UKOLN maintain a RSS-xpress site which provides an RSS channel editor and a directory of UK RSS channels.

Other News

There is a new feature on EEVL’s Websites Search Engine. This search engine searches the full text of the Web pages of the sites listed in the EEVL Catalogue of quality Internet resources in engineering, mathematics and computing. The Websites search engine therefore allows more in-depth searches than the EEVL Catalogue, and is a useful fall-back for instances where no results are found in the EEVL Catalogue.

The new feature is that each search result now includes a link to the EEVL record which was originally gathered by the search robot. As an example, searching the Websites Search Engine for the word ‘landfill’ results in a number of hits. One of these is:

Quarries & Landfill - Geotechnical (CAN - The Home of Rope Access)
score: 9
Quarries & Landfill CAN Geotechnical have worked extensively on both active and exhausted
quarries. Active The requirement for stabilisation work in active quarries is limited. In most
cases, if a rock mass is causing concern it can simply be rem
Gathered from: CAN Ltd

The above result indicates that the word ‘landfill’ will be found (nine times as indicated in the ‘score’) on the page http://www.can.ltd.uk/geotech/quarry.htm and that this page was ‘gathered’ or harvested, for the Websites search engine, from the EEVL Catalogue record for CAN Ltd.

EEVL’s two specialist databases, the JET Impingement Database and the Liquid Crystal Database, have recently been incorporated into the standard EEVL site.

As mentioned in the last issue of Ariadne, scoping of community-based services in engineering and mathematics is continuing. If you are interested in taking part in focus groups to discuss engineering community services, please contact the EEVL Hub Development Officer, Malcolm Moffat, at M.Moffat@hw.ac.uk.

New Virtual Training Suite tutorials for Further Education

Building on the success of the 40 higher education tutorials launched last year, new “teach yourself” Web tutorials aimed specifically at users in further education have been launched. These tutorials have been written by FE practitioners from colleges around the UK. Three of these new tutorials cover subjects relevant to EEVL. They are: Internet for Construction, Internet for Engineering (General and Automotive) and Internet for Information and Communication Technology.

The tutorials offer step-by-step instruction in Internet searching and information skills, such as critical evaluation. Online quizzes and interactive exercises lighten the learning experience and there is a glossary of Internet terms and a “Links Basket” to collect a personal list of useful Web links.

SearchLT Engineering

In the last issue of Ariadne I reported on the new SearchLT Engineering service which is helping lecturers select and access learning and teaching resources. I also explained how SearchLT is automatically cross-searched from the Engineering Section of EEVL. A number of new records have since been added to SearchLT, and a press release detailing the service is now available. The FAILTE Team, who developed SearchLT, are currently evaluating the service and collating the responses they have received from academics. This will shortly be published as a report.

Record response to EEVL’s £7,500 book give-away

The response to EEVL’s recent Free Book Promotion was fantastic. At more than 12,500, the number of entries was more than double that of last years’ equivalent event, which itself was commended in the LA/Emerald PR & Marketing Awards 2001. Books are now being sent to the winners by the publishers.

EEVL would like to thank all entrants, everyone who helped by distributing fliers, and also the following sponsors for their support: Butterworth-Heinemann, Kluwer, Pearson, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Wiley, Computer Bulletin, Engineering magazine, E2 the career guide, and Mathematics Today.

A press release about the promotion is available.

Author Details


Roddy MacLeod

EEVL Manager
Heriot-Watt University Library
EH14 4AS

E-mail: R.A.MacLeod@hw.ac.uk
Web site: http://www.hw.ac.uk/libwww/libram/roddy.html