Browzine is a free app for accessing articles from your university’s library. Available for both iOS and Android on tablet and phone, it’s an attractive way for students (and teachers) to look for and read articles. To give you a quick overview, I’ve made a short video.
I think the app works best as a way to look through journals you commonly refer to and to serendipitously discover articles that sound interesting. It doesn’t really have an inbuilt search function, so you can’t really use it to drill down and find exactly the article you are looking for.
Neither is it the best reader of articles available. Although you can scroll through and read the articles you’ve saved, it doesn’t have any option for annotating or highlighting text. If you’re going to want to do that, it does give you the option in the settings menu to open the PDF in another application. So, for example, if you use Mendeley as your article/reference, you can open it in that application. Though to be honest, I have found that particular process to be a little buggy, especially when trying to open in Mendeley. Other applications cause fewer problems, I use an app called Papers 3 and that opens the PDF perfectly when I send it from Browzine.
Browzine does have a web version you can access as well, though I’m not sure this is something I’d use on a regular basis, I’d probably prefer just to manage articles directly through my university’s library interface.
Despite my less than stellar description of the app, I find myself using it surprisingly often. As someone who is not actively engaged in research at the moment but does want to keep up with the latest ideas and trends in my field, Browzine offers an attractive way to look through various journals and earmark articles to read later through another app or on my computer.
I think it works best if you use it on tablet rather than phone, anything with lots of dense text is always going to work better on a larger screen, so just bear that in mind.