Third Iron’s BrowZine started out as an app designed for tablets and phones to enable users to browse, save, organize and read journal articles. That was great but things are even better because BrowZine is now fully web-based so users have access to it at the office (desktop computer) as well as on the train (mobile platforms). BrowZine is for anyone who is serious about keeping abreast of their discipline in an disciplined fashion.
And I am told by local Annenberg adopters that Third Iron is very responsive to its community of users. If they don’t carry a journal you are interested in, just write them and there is a good chance they will add it.
To get started with the mobile version simply download it from the app store on your phone–it’s free. After that, look for University of Pennsylvania among the intitutions in the Library List. You will then be prompted for credentials. Once you’ve cleared that hurdle you are free to roam the BrowZine Library which is divided into interlocking disciplines. For Communication folk most any can apply–besides the obvious Sociobehavioral Sciences, you may want to check into Arts and Humanities; History, Philosophy and Religion; Law and Legal Studies; or Biomedical and Health Sciences. Users can also search individual journal titles by typing in the search box at the top of the screen. When you come across a title you want alerts so simply add it to your “My Bookshelf.”
When viewing a journal, the current issue is automatically displayed. There is also a tab to Available Issues which go back a various amount of years (not the full subscription range of the institution necessarily). Public Opinion Quarterly, for instance, loads issues as far back as 2005. Within any issue being viewed, users can select articles of interest to save in either “Saved Articles” (the storage facility within the app) or to email, Refworks, Zotero, Endnote, or Mendeley. Links to articles can also be uploaded into Facebook or Twitter.
BrowZine shelf space is limited. Once you’ve filled up four book shelves you’ve hit the limit, 64 journals to be exact. I’m thinking Third Iron could be petitioned in the future to “build” another bookshelf or two but for most the current “shelf space” is sufficient.
Call me silly, but the colorful journal covers and book shelf furniture of BrowZine is mood enhancing! If you want a little more info about this alerting/reading/storage service check out this Penn Libraries Guide which includes an informative video from Third Iron. Or go to the Annenberg Library homepage (center column) to see what your Communication bookshelf might look like.
Enjoy keeping up with the literature in a most pleasant and empowering fashion!