As the fall sessions begin across colleges and universities around the world, we can witness new trends in the use of mobile devices in higher education instruction and research. If you’ve spent any time on campuses in the last few years, you’ve witnessed a dramatic rise in the use of smartphones and other handheld devices by students, librarians, and faculty members.
Undergraduate students check for how late the library is open in the university “app” (short for mobile application) on their iPhones. Librarians are answering a question for a professor as they cross the quad by searching the catalog for a book title on their Droids. Faculty members are sharing links to the latest SAGE journal articles with colleagues from their iPads. Similar use cases can be seen with practitioners, as surgeons brush up on new procedures by watching videos on their iPhones. And mobile usage is not just a “Western” trend for the privileged citizens of developed countries; cell phones are a key communication tool for small businesses, farmers, and students even in remote towns of India and South America.
This fall, we are launching mobile websites for all 600+ SAGE journals as the first phase of the mobile strategies for SAGE Journals Online. These sites will be optimized for the smaller screens of handheld devises. Our mobile-ready journals websites will ensure that all readers and members of the scholarly community have an easier time searching, browsing, and making use of our journals “on the go.”
As SAGE readers explore new ways to mobilize their research and teaching, SAGE is embracing new ways of ensuring we will always be the natural home for authors, editors, and societies – even when readers are away from home! If you have any suggestions for our mobile journals, or are willing to participate in a future usability study of SAGE journals, please contact Lettie Conrad, firstname.lastname@example.org.