In a typical journal club, the members will meet on a set schedule (once a week, once a month, etc). Journal clubs can run in one of two ways. The members can decide to discuss a new, whole journal article each meeting or discuss a new section of the same article each meeting. Every member is expected to have read and be prepared to discuss each meeting (including members in journal clubs that only discuss a new section each meeting). Usually on a rotating schedule, a presenter/s will be selected to present the article or a section of the article (depending on the journal club format). This presenter will be expected to be the "expert" on the article and be responsible for leading the group discussion. If it is a student journal club, there may be presiding professors or professionals that have this role.
Disclaimer: This page is a generalization about typical journal clubs. A specific journal club may have unique roles or guidelines that are contradictory to the information on this page.
Presenter: As stated above, the presenter will be expected to be the "expert" and the group discussion leader on the journal article (unless there is a professor or professional in this role). The presenter is responsible for:
It is typical once the presenter has presented, the members can ask the presenter or the other members questions about the article. They can range from asking for opinions, clarification, thoughts, agreements, and disagreements on the article. If a professor or professional is present, they may moderate the discussion and provide "expert" knowledge.
Member: A member is responsible for reading the entire journal article and for understanding its contents (don't skim or glance over it)! You need to have a solid understanding of the article. A member should come prepared with their own notes, thoughts, questions, and opinions for the discussion.
Presenting Sections of a Journal Article
Presenter: A presenter of a section of a journal article has many of the same responsibilities as a presenter of an entire journal article:
Yes, you are still expected to read the entire journal article! Reading the full journal article provides the big picture information/overall context on how each section relates to the whole article. You will be expected to be the "expert" and group discussion leader of that section. Be prepared to answer questions.
Member: Members are also expected to have read the entire journal article for the same reasons as the presenter. Come prepared with thoughts, questions, opinions, and notes for the group discussion of that section.
Create a presentation summarizing and highlighting the key points as if you were the author of the article presenting your experiment. For discussion questions, follow the suggestions on The Basics: How to Read a Journal Article page. If you have any strong opinions about the article's issues, problems, or ingenuity, you can summarize or highlight them at the end of the presentation to kick-off the group discussion.
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