Pieter L. Kubben
  1. Department of Neurosurgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Pieter L. Kubben
Department of Neurosurgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, Netherlands


© 2010 Kubben PL This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

How to cite this article: Kubben PL. Neurosurgical content for mobile devices. Surg Neurol Int 01-Sep-2010;1:46

How to cite this URL: Kubben PL. Neurosurgical content for mobile devices. Surg Neurol Int 01-Sep-2010;1:46. Available from:

Date of Submission

Date of Acceptance

Date of Web Publication


Our web application, “SNI Mobile,” does just that: it offers you quick access to the latest articles, posts, forum items, Twitter updates and podcasts [ Figure 1 ]. By selecting a category, you get the titles for the last 20 items of that category in reverse chronological order [ Figure 2 ]. If you select an item from the podcasts category, the web application will automatically open iTunes if you access it from iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Although the layout of the web application has been optimized for these devices, it can be accessed from any device (like Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile or Symbian-based). Add this link to your mobile browser’s favorites to access the web application quickly:

Figure 1

SNI mobile homepage


Figure 2

Recent articles with direct access to full text


Alternatively, go to our website and select “Neurosurgery 2.0” > “Mobile” in the menu for further instructions.


You are probably familiar with downloading articles in Portable Document Format (PDF). The main advantage of PDF files is that they look the same on all computers, regardless of what text editor is used, which fonts are installed, or which printer settings are chosen. There are many good free PDF viewers available, and for desktop computers this format became the standard for downloading scientific articles. The main disadvantage for using them on mobile devices is that the original page size is maintained. Therefore, reading PDF files on a small screen can be a cumbersome task. This problem can be solved by using the EPUB format, which is a free and open e-book standard for electronic publication (hence the name).[ 1 ] There are EPUB readers for many different mobile devices, and they allow the user to increase or decrease the font size to optimize reading on the small screen. Stanza is a free EPUB reader for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that I can recommend [ Figure 3 ]. Good suggestions for other devices are always welcome. Figure 4 shows an example of how text may look on a small screen.

Figure 3

Screenshot from stanza on iPhone


Figure 4

Reading an article in stanza on iPhone



As SNI is an open-access journal, all full-text articles can be downloaded for free, without any form of registration required. This is especially useful when it comes to downloading articles on mobile devices. There is no need to be connected to your hospital or university network; you can download EPUB versions from all our articles. This can be done from our website, or directly from the web application [ Figure 2 ].


The foundation of every scientific journal is formed by (peer-reviewed) articles. This editorial explains how mobile devices can be used to access SNI’s content, and how the EPUB format facilitates reading articles on small screens. SNI Mobile is a web application that allows quick access to the journal’s main categories, with a layout that is optimized for iPhone and related devices. We intend to use this web application as a starting point for further mobile development. Based on our experience and your feedback we will continue working on separate applications for iPhone, iPad, Android, and maybe Blackberry in the future. We would like you to read not only our articles, but also our (blog) posts and forum items. Also, we would like to offer you our multimedia on mobile devices, starting with some podcasts on basic and clinical neurosurgery.

What sorts of applications and content would you be particularly interested in?


1. . International Digital Publishing Forum. p.

2. . Moore’s law. p.

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