There have been a number of discussions and requests recently about information on what different content providers are offering to support access to their resources via mobile devices. I’m hoping to publish some information on this in the next few weeks (based on our own research and speaking to a number of different library content providers). If you know of any useful resources (e.g. mobile apps, mobile web websites, access to resources via e-readers), please let me know.
In the meantime, we have a guest blog post from one such provider, Cambridge Journals Online, about their new method for readers to send articles direct to their Kindles. This post has been written by Danny Davies, Senior Online Development Executive at Cambridge Journals.
Danny Davies is part of the growing Cambridge Journals Online Development team, with a particular interest in gadgetry – tablets, e-readers, phones. He is also responsible for CJO Mobile (“you can thank me later”, he said “sweets are always welcome…”). All opinions are his own. Apart from those he’s pinched.
Over to Danny…
If you look closely at a full text article on CJO, you may notice we’ve introduced a new, rather unassuming little link. As of this release (CJO Release 12-1, if we’re using proper names), if you have access to the full text of an article, in PDF or HTML format, we’ve implemented a means to email that article to read on your Kindle. When you click the button on your computer and enter your Kindle email address, CJO will send the paper you’re reading direct to your Kindle. The article will then appear in your Kindle home screen when you next sync your device, ready to read off line. You’ll find this link in the left hand menu for PDF or above the headers on HTML article.
So why have we done this? We’ve held to something of an unspoken convention so far, in that we don’t normally develop specifically for one manufacturer’s hardware. It’s why we didn’t rush headlong into developing a CJO app for iOS, but instead created a mobile web version (iPad users, of course, can take advantage of the full site anyway). There are a number of e-readers on the market, and the Kindle, it seems, doesn’t share its competitors’ tastes as far as file formats go.
We’ve admitted in the past that a fair few of us here at Cambridge Journals are rather fond of the Kindle, so I think we’d be lying if we claimed that didn’t shape this development just a little. But, staff preferences aside, the Kindle is being mentioned at more and more journal editorial meetings as a preferred reading environment. Also, there is a very mature infrastructure behind the Kindle, and there are enough of them out in the wild to make it worth the gamble, without worrying that support for the device is going to disappear.
At the moment, HTML articles are text-only (no images yet), so we’re kind of considering this a ‘beta’ feature, but we’re working on improving it for future releases. Most of all, we’d like to know how it works for you and if you find it useful.
This post first appeared on the Cambridge Journals Blog (http://blog.journals.cambridge.org/) on 23rd April 2012.