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WEEK FOUR - BrowZine Digital Friday

What does it do?

Do you remember a time when you used to walk into the University Library and all the latest editions of scholarly journals and periodicals were sat there on shelves facing outward, looking expectantly at you, their enticing covers promising a world of information? The joy of picking up a journal and flicking through it to find an interesting article which you didn't even know existed was a random learning activity, but this approach has become a phenomenon less commonly experienced in recent years.

Efforts to improve information retrieval skills among Library users means that the act of browsing has been replaced with rapid, precise searches in order to get straight to the article you want. However, browsing is on the way back through the use of a tool called BrowZine. If you're a student who has only known a time where journal articles are available electronically, 'browsing' may feel like a new way of accessing information!

BrowZine allows you to set up a virtual bookshelf to which you can add your favourite journals and magazines. If Dundee University Library holds a subscription to that journal, you'll be able to flick through new issues via your bookshelf, bringing back that ability to browse new content and therefore keep up-to-date with your subject.

When would you use it?

To keep up to date with your favourite journals - for instance, scan the articles appearing in each new edition for something you're interested in - BrowZine is a great light-touch tool to help you get on top of new research and news stories in your field. BrowZine can also send alerts to you to tell you a new edition of a magazine or periodical has been published. BrowZine is similar to what Libraries used to call a 'Current Awareness Bulletin'.

Additional features are also available - for instance, citations for articles discovered on BrowZine can also be downloaded into reference management software such as EndNote and Mendeley.

How does it work?

BrowZine is both an app and a website. You can use it on your smartphone, tablet or PC, and it synchronises all your devices so that any changes you make to your bookshelf are available to you across all those devices.

You'll therefore need to download the app for your preferred device - there's a version of the app for all iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches with iOS v8.x+. It's also available for Android Tablets and Smartphones with OS v4.1+ and on Kindle Fire HD Tablets.

The video below gives a short overview of the basic features of the app;

And this video is a more in-depth look at the functions of BrowZine;

Where can I access it?

BrowZine is available for free via a link on the Library & Learning Centre website. The LLC has also produced a useful Subject Guide launchpad for BrowZine, which you can access here

What do you think of Digital Friday?

You can comment on Digital Friday or suggest other tools or applications to be included in future - go here to do so!

Credits:

Created with images by Phil Roeder - "Magazine Rack"

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