Web Magazine for Information Professionals

News from the Resource Discovery Network

Simon Jennings and Philip Pothen with the latest on developments at the RDN.

Put the RDN on your Web pages

The Resource Discovery Network (RDN) has launched a new service called RDN-include[1]. This allows ResourceFinder, the RDN search engine, to be added free of charge to higher and further education institutions’ Web sites. The RDN developed this technology in reponse to requests from users and in recognition of developments underway with Virtual Learning Envornments at many institutions.

By including the RDN’s search box and the results it retrieves on an institution’s Web site, students and staff can now use the RDN search facilities and discover high-quality Web resources while remaining within the familiar look-and-feel of their university or college’s Web site. It also means that users can now access the resources provided by their own institution alongside those that are nationally-provided. A good example of how this facility is used can be seen at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Library[2]. Here results from the RDN are presented alonside a search facility for local e-journals for occasions where RDN results contain references to online articles.

The RDN has endeavoured to make the service as simple as possible to install and configure. There are two versions available, on which uses a cgi script and an even simpler JavaScript-based version which just requires the webmaster to paste a few lines of code into their page. We are also able to offer versions of RDN-i which search results from selected hubs only and plan to further develop ways in which the Webmaster using RDN-i can configure the service to suit local needs (e.g. the ability to search EEVL and Psigate data alone).

Over the next few months the RDN will be making more of its content available for inclusion on UK University and College Websites. First and foremost in our plans is the Behind the Headlines service[3]. Behind the Headlines offers easy access to background information on the latest news headlines via preset searches of RDN data. The service was developed following analysis of RDN search logs from the height of the Foot-and-mouth crisis - these showed large numbers of users looking for current affairs related information. More recent topics to feature in the service have included Osama Bin Laden, Deep Vein Thrombosis and assisted suicide. The service has proved very popular, particularly in the further education sector and we are keen that it should also be made available through institutional web sites as well as on the RDN’s own pages.


  1. RDN-include homepage: http://www.rdn.ac.uk/rdn-i
  2. RDN-include at Manchester Metropolitan University: http://www.mmu.ac.uk/services/library/rdni/rdnisearch.html
  3. RDN Behind the Headlines: http://www.rdn.ac.uk/news/headlines/

Author Details

 Philip Pothen
Communications Manager
Resource Discovery Network
King’s College London

Email: philip.pothen@kcl.ac.uk
Web site: www.rdn.ac.uk

 Simon Jennings
Resource Discovery Network
King’s College London

Email: simon.jennings@kcl.ac.uk
Web site: www.rdn.ac.uk