At least one person I know wouldn’t join the NRG because he didn’t want any more paper subscriptions piling up in his house. Well, those with similar feelings will be happy to know that they can now avoid the slow mailing system and piles of journals stacking up or getting lost by signing up for a digital subscription.
Digital editions are available as either a separate, lower priced, subscription at $40/yr, as opposed to the regular print subscription included with NRG membership of $50/yr, or as an add-on to regular membership and print subscription for an additional $15/yr.
The benefits to the digital edition are many. The subscription appears to be stored on-line, and you access the editions via the web. There is a large array of tools for searching, zooming, and scrolling through your magazine. There is a drop-down table of contents, if you want to jump straight to a particular article. You can mark favorite pages and can even type in your own notes.
There are some downsides that I can see already. A minor issue is that when you are looking at the tool that lets you jump to specific pages, those page numbers don’t correspond to the Journal issue page numbers, as the Journal issues are consecutively numbered for an entire volume, or year. So, if you jump to page 40 in the Autumn issue, the current one, it’s actually Journal page 198. Certainly not a big deal.
Another point you might want to note is that you can’t print off or copy any pages. I can understand the need for copy protection, and for the Journal to put itself out on the digital scene, it’s about the only way to protect it. But, it is annoying to not be able to copy an article that you’re referencing and to store it with other research materials. For that, you’ll need the print edition.
Personally, I found navigating to be a bit funky, but that’s probably because I’m a trackpad user. Using keys to paginate and zoom are pretty easy, and I can imagine that using a mouse is also pretty straight forward.
All in all, it’s a great step forward for the NRG and the Journal. I’m not sure if I’ll migrate completely from the print edition, or maybe just add the digital edition to my membership. But, it’s certainly a good option and one that I’m sure many people will appreciate.
There is a sample issue available along with subscription details on the NRG’s website here: https://www.thenrg.org/digital-edition.php.