MLA News

Official News from the Music Library Association

REFERENCE SOURCES SPOTLIGHT: BrowZine

Locating journal articles can be challenging for many undergraduate students. Using ProQuest or EBSCO platforms requires knowledge of Boolean searches, and browsing can be difficult for patrons who are not entirely sure of keywords to use. Although it is important for patrons to understand how to search databases for specific information, BrowZine offers another avenue through which patrons can access articles by subject.

BrowZine, a platform for journal discovery, offers a visual means of browsing an institution’s e-journal collection, Third Iron integrates into most ILSs (integrated library systems) easily using APIs (application programming interface) and offers direct link access to pdfs. Here is the link to the Third Iron website.

What I find so appealing about BrowZine is the ability to see the cover of the journal and browse the table of contents, as if you were actually looking at a physical copy (Very nice for those that prefer physical formats!).

BrowZine automatically syncs institutional holdings data with journals that appear in BrowZine. Although not all music journals that an institution subscribes to will appear in BrowZine, such as those for societies (i.e, Horn Call, for the International Horn Society), the list of available journals is quite impressive.

For example, these are some of the “Music” subject journals offered at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (UTK):

When you click on the journal cover, it opens to the table of contents of the most recent issue:

Then, just click on the article and BrowZine finds the pdf and opens it directly. As you can see in the left column, earlier issues and volumes are easy to browse as well.

When a patron signs into their library account, they can create their own bookshelf in BrowZine and follow titles of interest. BrowZine also has an app for smartphones and tablets – just sign into your institution and have easy access to articles.

If you are interested in learning how to create personal bookshelves, here is a UTK libguides link and a video (11 min.) about BrowZine: https://libguides.utk.edu/BrowZine/Home

Or for those that desire a little more technical info documentation on platform specific integration or API documentation, here is a good overview: BrowZine Technical Documentation

BrowZine can really enhance the discovery of subscription journals, especially for undergraduate students. And once they see the value in the resources by using this tool, they become more confident to dig a little deeper!

Bonnie Finn, University of Tennessee, Knoxville