As the name suggests, BrowZine is specifically intended to provide an easy and pleasant way to quickly reach current (last ten years) contents of a set of journals in a particular subject area, for browsing purposes and reading PDFs of articles that strike you as interesting or relevant to your work. It will familiarize you with the library’s collection of journals in our topic area, and is a good way to stay up-to-date in a particular field. Please note that our library may have full-text access to a journal that goes back further than 10 years, but this tool is designed to focus on relatively recent issues only; to access older issues, use the library catalog to find out what is in our library’s collections as you normally would. Please note: this tool is not a replacement for the usual strategies that you use to find a variety of articles from many sources that deal with a specific topic, are written by a particular author, etc.
So what is it for? If you went physically to the library (!), you would find that the recent issues of a journal are available sitting loose on a shelf, grouped by subject area, because they are not yet “bound” into a hardback volume for storing with the library’s permanent periodical collections. In the old days us graduate students used to go to the library every couple weeks, grab a few recent issues of the most important journals in our field, and plop down on in an armchair to flip through, see what people are working on, and catch up on important articles for our work as they appear. This app/website is meant to bring back that ability but in a digital form. Neither that physical browsing process nor BrowZine would be an effective or efficient way to try and comprehensively identify the best articles on a desired topic, though; go back to Google Scholar (tips), Web of Science, Full Text Finder, other databases and the library catalog for that purpose just as you normally do.
If you have a set of journals you would like to consult frequently, you can even download the BrowZine app for your phone or tablet; with the app, you have the ability to create a custom bookshelf with the journals you consult most. You won’t have to re-log in for each session with the app either, it will retain your credentials. If you enter in your email address, you can “sync” your custom bookshelf across copies of the app on different devices. This is the best way to make the most of BrowZine if you have an iOS or Android device!