Journal clubs are easily adapted to the needs and circumstances of the individual setting and the research literature provides some examples of different clubs that have been tried.
The Daily Club
Mazuryk et al (2002) Describe a daily journal club in a palliative care setting. The paper reports a year of journal clubs being held every weekday morning for 20 minutes before staff start work. Over the course of the year 252 papers were discussed with different members of staff providing the presentation of summaries and the subsequent notes that formed a bank of resources that all staff could access.
The club had a high attendance rate and staff reported that they felt they were more likely to relate the content of the meetings to their practice as they were going straight from the discussions into work. The meetings were seen as a social gathering that facilitated interactions of staff at all levels and acted as a form of mentoring.
Mazuryk M, Daeninck P, Neumann CM, Bruera E (2002) Daily journal club: An educational tool in palliative care. Palliat Med. 16: 57-61
The Email Club
There are several examples on online journal clubs both in medicine and in other fields, including education.
Email journal Club
Kuppersmith et al (1997) report use of email to carry out the dissemination of article reviews prior to an optional meeting. Members were assigned 1-5 articles to summarise a month, their reviews were emailed to the group and the ‘best’ ones chosen to discuss. Benefits of this were reported to be the increased amount of literature covered and the creation of an accessible database of reviews.
Kuppersmith, R.B., Stewart, M.G., Ohlms, L.A. & Corer, N.J. (1997) Use of an Internet-based journal club, Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, 116, 497.
The Online Club
Thangasamy et al (2014) describe an international urology journal club using Twitter. ‘Meetings’ were held monthly over a 48 hour period to account for different time zones using the hashtag #urojc and participation was incentivised with prizes. The journal club encouraged participation of authors – including the creation of Twitter accounts for authors that didn’t have them – and engagement with publishers who made articles free access for the period of the club and in some instances making them available before publication.
The club was successful and enabled collegues to make connections that continued outside the journal club meetings.
Thangasamy IA, Leveridge M, Davies BJ, Finelli A, Stork B, Woo HH. (2014) International Urology Journal Club via Twitter: 12-month experience. Eur Urol; 66: 112–117
The Science Teacher Journal Club, inspired by Twitter Journal Club used in medicine, was created in 2011 for science teachers, and anyone else with an interest, to gather together to discuss ideas about science science education published in journals, articles, books and elsewhere.
The club ran until 2013 and held regular discussions via @SciTeachJC and the #SciTeachJC hashtag, tweeting a link to an article based on the results of voting by members of the club and the date and time at which they would come together to tweet their comments and engage in discussion. The results of the discussion were collated and published on the website.