My guide to journal club

17 March 2008

I have a journal club to prepare for a couple of weeks’ time, and I guess it could be handy to write a guide on preparing for a journal club presentation. Or at least, this is what I do about it.

Selection of journal : I tend to choose a journal which is related to my work, but still contain plenty of information that would be of interest to everyone else in my lab. Such as methods or statistics that would be useful to most of my colleagues.

Informing others : well, this is obvious. I normally send an internal email with the article in PDF so everyone can at the very least have a quick look through, without having to go through the trouble of searching and downloading the paper again.

Preparing presentation :  give a background to the paper, look into the methods that were used, summarising the main findings and discuss the authors’ conclusion. I try to use mainly the graphs/tables etc in the paper as a mean of presenting the results, as oppose to wordy descriptions.

Discussion and critiques : just because something has been published, it doesn’t mean it’s flawless. With the group, we have Q&As to try to dissect the analysis and the data/result validity, and how the method would have worked in a different projects, how adaptations can be made, how statistics can be more appropriately interpretated, etc.

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