Read journals and magazines? Like browsing sections of them in the library or the bookstore? Disappointed by the fragmentation of the professional and leisure reading spaces through search experiences? Well, then, you just might be interested in checking out Browzine.
Browzine is an iPad app designed to create a digital equivalent for the traditional browsing experience. Unfortunately, it requires iOS 5.1, so I can’t install it on my original iPad, but I did see a demo, and hear about some of the forthcoming ideas they have in development in the Bat Cave. Sounds pretty exciting.
For now, if you have a moderately current i-device with recent iOS installed, the app is free, and will work without customization if you are willing to just use open-access journals.
You start by browsing by subject category, choose a title, skim table of contents, download the articles desired …and with none of that mucking around with interim menus, just straight to PDF and reading it. Usability features include personal bookshelves, favorite reading lists, download (or cloud) PDFs, reading with all the iPad
functionality of pinch, swipe, and zoom.
Added functionality includes emailing, downloading, sharing through social media, open in other apps, saving the citation in Zotero for later research, and more. However (and this is where things get slick), libraries can apply a local brand and set things up so that their patrons can access the e-journals from their institution, in the same browseable format.