Monday, February 10, 2014

BrowZine: Academic Journals on the Go

Keeping up with the latest scholarly literature can be a challenge: old journal issues pile up into office clutter. Articles you found online are lost as soon as you close your browser, if you didn't keep track of your search history. A link in an email might lead to a publisher pay wall, if you haven't authenticated your computer with your University credentials. Is there a better way to keep your scholarly research organized?

If you're a tablet user, consider BrowZine. The Duke University Libraries have partnered with BrowZine to provide thousands of its subscription journals through a tablet "newsstand" app, which is available for iPad, Android and Kindle Fire devices. Instructions and download links are available at Once the app is downloaded, Duke users should select Duke University from the Institutions list, and enter their NetID and password (security note: these credentials are not provided to the app's designer). BrowZine users can then browse the library of journals by subject area or title.

The "Law and Legal Studies" category currently contains 130 titles, but there are thousands more available in other social sciences, humanities and sciences – making this app especially useful for interdisciplinary legal researchers. Once journal titles have been added to your bookshelf, you can browse available issues, and tap on individual article names to download the full text courtesy of the Duke University Libraries. BrowZine integrates with citation management software like Zotero, and also cooperates with popular file storage and annotation apps like DropBox and iAnnotate.

One note of caution: A test-drive by the Goodson Blogson did reveal that there may be a minority of titles included erroneously within BrowZine which provide only indexing, and not the full text of articles. In those cases, the table of contents will list a price for accessing the full text of articles. Remember that researchers at Duke should never have to pay to access scholarly articles -- even if they are not available through Duke's print or online subscriptions -- since current Duke students, faculty and staff are eligible to receive articles via interlibrary loan service. If you encounter a citation to an article within BrowZine which is not provided in full text, Ask a Librarian for assistance first, instead of pulling out your credit card! BrowZine makes it easy to email such troublesome citations (or useful ones, for that matter) by clicking the Share icon in the top right corner when viewing an article.

Happy researching!