Purpose of App Review

Review of the official app for the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology for the iPad.

This review is intended for healthcare students and professionals utilizing this resource for evidence-based patient care and general learning/reviewing of topics in obstetrics and gynecology.

This review is from the perspective of a upper level resident in an Obstetrics and Gynecology residency.

 

Introduction

The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG) app (version 3.1 available as of May 2012) is a free application provided by Elsevier. The app serves to provide downloading, emailing, and copying capabilities to full issues and individual articles published in the monthly American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, also known as the Gray Journal.

The app provides the ability to download entire issues or individual articles within minutes in multiple formats.

User Interface

I check my clinic mailbox excitedly several times a month looking for the newest Gray Journal volume. With the AJOG app, I can easily access articles in print. While there does not appear to be a monthly/daily notification of newly available articles or volumes, opening the app and checking for new material is fast and straightforward.

The first screen upon starting the app brings you to the home screen. The home screen contains the AJOG journal title, decked out in its customary gray, as well as an image of the front page of an AJOG volume. The main portion of the home screen gives you access to radio buttons for All Issues and for Articles in Press.

Choosing the All Issues radio button brings you to a list of all available journal volumes, some of which are accompanied by highlighted article issues.

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From the home screen, you can select multiple volumes to download as a whole. If getting all of the articles isn’t your style (or just takes too much space), you can select the volume of interest. If you haven’t downloaded the table of contents for this issue, you will be prompted to do so. Once the table of contents is downloaded, you can then simply select the specific volume you would like to explore.

Clicking on the journal volume, you are brought to a drop-down menu of articles in that month’s volume.  Each article has three useful radio buttons – Abstract, Full Text, and PDF.

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When first accessing the journal volume, you are prompted as to whether or not you want to download the entire volume or download articles individually. Choose carefully, as this particular function is not immediately or obviously available the next time you look at the individual journal volume. Downloading a journal volume or article is straightforward; there is no ability to archive the article or issue for future use.

While downloading all of individually selected articles, you are not able to view other content. You must wait for the download to finish or to cancel it. As articles are downloaded, the color of the radio buttons changes from gray to white (for Full Text and PDF buttons) and the text of the radio button changes from shaded to non-shaded (abstracts).

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Once downloaded, you can look at the abstract in HTML, the full text in HTML, or the full article in PDF format. Any option offers up-down navigation. Navigation of the PDF is side-swipe capable. Zooming is available in each option (two-finger gesture).

Also in each option, you can bookmark the article (which is also available from the table of contents) or choose to share the article via email/Facebook/Twitter. You can also navigate between articles with the use of left/right radio buttons at the top of the app; this will typically bring up the next article’s abstract or Full-Text (if downloaded), but not the PDF version.

You can navigate full text articles via tabs. If you have not downloaded an article, you can choose to download the PDF or Full Text version from the abstract.

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Throughout the app, there is an expandable toolbar towards the bottom of the screen.

The toolbar gives you several options: home screen, menu (navigate back to Table of Contents, All Issues, Articles in Press), content (navigate to bookmarks, notes), journal info (Editors & Board, Aims & Scope), and app info (support, feedback, terms and conditions). Additionally, graphs, pictures, and tables are faithfully reproduced and legible. Supplementary materials, such as audio files are not currently available.

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You can see the PDF article, though like the Green Journal app, you can’t modify it. There is no option for underlining, highlighting or taking notes for a particular page. There is no option for exporting an article of interest to another app to allow for such a type of annotation. The HTML version allows you to make individual notes and to copy segments of material, adding a bit more additional functionality to the article.

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If you do want to edit the pdf, you need to send yourself a link to the article.  I like to abuse my articles, so this lack of annotative functions continues to make me less likely to use the AJOG app routinely for reading articles.

The app offers improved ease of accessibility to articles and is a good substitute in terms of portability for paper. Like the Green Journal app, there are limitations in the utilization of PDFs as well as functionality to share with other applications on the iPad/iPhone. The addition of full text availability improves utilization of the articles for on-the-fly learning and article summarization.

Price

  • The app is free and articles were originally available free of charge. Now $350 for an annual subscription or $31.99 for a single issue.

Likes

  • table of contents available for download
  • user-friendly interface with ease of navigation and downloading
  • ability to download all articles from a volume or to download individually
  • sharing functionality
  • availability of/access to articles in press

Dislikes

  • no central library for downloaded articles
  • available articles just from 2011 onward
  • lack of ability to manipulate PDF articles
  • lack of ability to move articles to other applications already on iPad from PDF format

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app

  • Utilization of the AJOG app is most applicable for Obstetrics and Gynecology health care practitioners with a subscription to the journal

Conclusions

  • The AJOG iPad app is great app, allowing for easy accessibility in multiple formats to the AJOG. It is easy to navigate between volumes and to download targeted articles; accessing the gray journal is much easier with the use of this app compared to how I log in from a computer.
  • If you are wanting easier access to Gray Journal articles, the ability to download some or all articles of interests, multi-formatted articles, and easy portability, this app offers an easy carrying solution to the American Journal of Obstetric and Gynecology’s most recent articles in abstract, full-text, and PDF format.
  • Lack of ability to edit or to move the PDFs into other applications limits full utilization of the articles. Addition of the full text articles is helpful for copying purposes–this availability is a step ahead of the Green Journal’s usability.

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes

iTunes Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars) 4.06

  1. User Interface – 3
  2. Multimedia usage – 4
  3. Price -4
  4. Real world applicability – 4.75

App version: 3.1

Compatibility: iPad
Requires: Requires iOS 4.3 or greater
Tested on: iPad 3

Author’s note: this review was originally a twin review with the Green Journal Review. Due to an unfortunate error, they were not published together. This review is presented as originally written with a few edits related to how the app has changed since September 2012, mostly with respect to pricing.