I’ve always found it difficult to keep up-to-date with journal articles. I can never remember when they’re published or, indeed, which ones are important to my research. Recently I discovered BrowZine, a clever app that delivers recent issues of journals to your iPad or Android tablet for browsing. It brings together content from multiple publishers, allowing you to view tables of contents, save your favourite journals, and read articles.
The app is free to users, but it’ll only work if your institution has a BrowZine subscription. You should be able to find out this information from your Library. For you to have access to the full text of articles, they’ll also need a subscription to that particular journal.
Once you’ve installed and opened the app, you’ll be asked to choose your institution from the list. Then you need to login with your university username and password.
Now you can browse through to find journals of interest to you and add them to your Bookshelf.
It looks a bit squished here as I’m using my smartphone. Although it works fine on a smaller screen, you’ll probably be more comfortable using it on a tablet. Browzine doesn’t currently work on desktops or Windows tablets.
Tapping on one of the covers displays all the articles from recent issues. BrowZine is focused on current research, by the way, so you won’t find much from before 2005.
If your library subscribes to the journal, you’ll be able to download and read the full text. When reading an article you can also share the details on social media, or send the bibliographic details to Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote.
With a couple of taps, I was able to send the details and the PDF of this article straight into Zotero.
You can also set up alerts for new issues of your favourite journals, although that appears to only work on iPads at the moment. The Android app is slightly clunky and the support material online is sketchy (it’s aimed at the institutions, rather than the end users, I think).
However, it’s a really useful app that serves a definite need among researchers. Once the company has signed up some more publishers and made it work consistently across Android and iOS, BrowZine will be a ‘must have’ tool.
To download BrowZine for your device, follow the appropriate link on the developer’s website. Apparently, a web-based version will be launched soon, so you’ll be able to use it on your desktop, too.