Ever since the first academic journals went online back in 1996, our readers, and our librarian colleagues who enable access, have expected us to keep up with the pace of changing technology.

We’re also aware that our readership is global, and that while users in developed countries have welcomed the increasing sophistication of publisher websites, those in developing countries, where low-bandwidth internet access is the norm, are finding such sites increasingly difficult to use. It became obvious that a streamlined version of Cambridge Journals Online (CJO) could be welcomed by both mobile users and researchers struggling with low bandwidth. With this in mind, we launched our mobile site in October 2010.

There were two potential routes to market with Cambridge Journals Online Mobile (CJOm) – a native application, such as an iPhone app, or a mobile version of CJO. Because we didn’t want to exclude any device, and because we wanted CJOm to double as a low bandwidth site, we eliminated the app option early on. The project then focussed on building a site with few images and the minimum of text, to make it as fast as possible. CJOm also had to integrate seamlessly with CJO, so that searches and bookmarks could be saved and available from both. Finally, the user needed the option to log-in to their institution’s subscriptions, either via Wi-Fi, or using the ‘Shibboleth’ authentication system.

In the event, creating the streamlined site was the easier task – CJOm was rapid and easy to navigate from early testing – whereas the facility to log in to institutional resources took longer to create. 18 months since launch, CJOm is working as planned, the number of mobile visits has increased again and we have received a good deal of positive feedback from academics and librarians. Our charity partners, who facilitate developing country access, are particularly enthusiastic about the potential of CJOm.

Recently we’ve been busy working on the next phases of CJOm development and we’ll be posting more details about these on this blog in the near future.


  1. I fully agree with the assessment of a conventional kindle reigning supreme for long form fiction. I was never a big reader, but started when I began commuting by bus. I had no idea how fast I could read before using an kindle extensively. The big downside is non-fiction, such as manuals (PDFs) or other reference. I store a lot of reference material for outdoor stuff, as I’m a Cub Scout volunteer. Rarely are the illustrations easy to read on a kindle, and an iPhone is simply too small for instructional purposes. Really hoping that Fire is a good compromise for this.

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