EAP App Review: Browzine 4


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.

 

you can store your favourite journals on the attractive bookshelf

you can store your favourite journals on the attractive bookshelf

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 share ption

from the ios share option, you can send the article to other apps or share the reference with reference managers

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.


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About David Read

I work at the English Language Teaching Centre at the University of Sheffield as the Director of TEL (technology-enhanced learning). I've been an EFL/EAP teacher and teacher trainer for over 20 years and have worked in 14 different countries. Settling down is clearly an issue for me.


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