Keeping up with medical literature is challenging. In the first seven days of 2015, there were over 40,000 article citations added to the PubMed database.

We’ve reviewed several great apps that are designed to help you read medical journals on your smartphone or tablet: Docphin, Read by QXMD, Browzine, and DocNews (formerly known as DocWise). When we set out to pick the best, we realized pretty quickly that we have a somewhat unique challenge here. Clinicians have very different needs and styles when it comes to the literature in their field so they prioritize different features.

Here, we name the overall best app for keeping up with the medical literature. But recognizing that there are a number of quality choices out there that may fit some clinicians better than others, we’ve also put together a guide to picking the app that is best for you based on what you want to do.

We look at journal highlighting, CME activities, keeping up to date with news briefs, and more.

For when you know exactly what content you want

I want to follow a few journals, and I know which ones I like

Docphin, Read, Browzine or DocNews all function similarly in terms of following specific journals: this is the bread and butter of all of these journal apps. Typically, you select journals to follow when registering or setting up your app. There may be times when you want to add or change the journals on your list, however, and not all of the apps make this simple. Docphin, Read, and Browzine do make it easy to add or edit the journals you follow. On DocNews, this function is somewhat hidden and you can only browse journals by subject, not title.

Point: Docphin, Read, and Browzine.