A Review of BrowZine
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Noreen L. Mulcahy, MLIS, AHIP
Lead Health Sciences Librarian – Technical Services
Mount Carmel Health Sciences Library
Mount Carmel Health System | A Member of Trinity Health



BrowZine, a product of Third Iron, LLC, is a journal engagement platform that allows users to connect to a library’s electronic journal collection via the Web or by using iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. Titles that appear in BrowZine are based on the institution’s current subscriptions to ensure accuracy and provide full-text availability to users. The product is designed for academic and medical libraries as well as corporate centers. Users connect to a secure link provided by Third Iron through the Web as well as the BrowZine App on a tablet or smartphone.


The main source of the data contained in BrowZine is based on the current journal holdings of the institution. The library provides Third Iron with this initial list through its A-Z product, such as EBSCO’s Full Text Finder, or through a spreadsheet that the library sends to Third Iron. The holdings list is updated once a month directly from the A-Z vendor or from a new library spreadsheet, although the library is welcome to send a holdings update to Third Iron at any time.

The mobile version is easy to download from the user’s tablet or smartphone. Once BrowZine is installed, the user opens the App and chooses the affiliated library. The seamlessness between BrowZine’s Web and App versions makes it very easy to transition between the two.

One of the best qualities of BrowZine is its ease of use. The search functions are straightforward and give the user three choices: title, subject, and ISSN. Search results are clean and easy to navigate. It is efficient and brings users straight to the full-text PDF with very little clicking. Articles can be saved on mobile devices for offline reading.

BrowZine can be fully integrated into LibGuides and offers libraries a way to customize website or LibGuide sidebar widgets.

Another advantage to using BrowZine is the My Bookshelf feature. This allows a user to create personal bookshelves based on frequently-used titles or subjects. For example, I have created bookshelves based on various nursing disciplines, such as Hospice and Palliative Care and Maternal and Infant Nursing, which allows me to get to these topics quickly. In addition, a user can set up journal alerts through BrowZine to be notified when a new article on a particular topic is published.


Business Model

BrowZine is offered through a site-wide license for unlimited concurrent users paid through an annual subscription. Third Iron uses metrics such as full-time enrollment for academic libraries and bed counts for hospital libraries to determine pricing.

Third Iron sends out comprehensive monthly usage reports to institutional subscribers that include:

  • Summary
  • Sessions
  • My Bookshelf views by journal title
  • Table of contents views by journal title
  • Full-text downloads by journal title



This innovative and user-friendly platform is a great way to teach clients how to get full-text PDFs of articles they need in a quick and efficient manner. BrowZine is popular among residents and physicians who make full use of the My Bookshelf feature. Also, it is a great way to demonstrate how to access library resources at orientation sessions, especially when time is limited. The integration of BrowZine into LibGuides is another benefit for many types of libraries.

To learn more about BrowZine and request a trial, visit http://thirdiron.com/.


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