If you subscribe to any of NSTA’s Journals, you probably received a note about NSTA’s Digital Journals. As NSTA members, we’ve had access to journal articles as PDF files, but now the journals are also in a digital format that can be read on a computer as well as on a device such as Kindle Fire, Android tablet/phone, or iPad/iPhone. So I thought I’d take it for a test drive.
I had emails from the two journals I subscribe to in print, and they had links to the digital versions that I could read on my laptop. The interface on the computer version is easy to figure out, with options to browse page by page or through a table of contents. I could zoom in and out and there is a feature to add a sticky note to a page with annotations or comments. You can also tag a page as a favorite. You can view all of your comments and favorites, and each includes the page number as a reference. The print option lets you select pages to print. You can share pages via email, Twitter, FaceBook, Diigo, reddit, and others.
Three features I really like compared to the traditional PDF versions: You can see all of the ads (and I’m sure the advertisers like this), which is helpful to learn about new products and services. The authors’ email addresses and URLs are clickable (in the PDF version if the link wrapped to a new line, it didn’t always work). So you can follow up on topic of interest without having to retype the URL. This includes the link to SciLinks. You still need to enter in the code, though. And this version includes the entire journal, including conference information and departments such as TST’s Headline Science.
But I’m not always at my laptop. There are versions right now of Science Scope for mobile devices (it appears that the others are in the works). I went to the App Store to get the Science Scope app for my iPad. It took a while to download a complete issue, but now I can to read it offline when I want to. I think I prefer the landscape orientation where I can see two pages at a time with the options showing at the bottom. You can still add favorites (no sticky notes, though) and search the table of contents and the advertisers. Some features are a little different from the computer version: There is an option to view a text-only version of the article. The “Share” option in the menu sends an email about the app only.
I’m sure I have a lot more to learn/figure out, but I like what I see so far.