Journal Clubs are essentially like book clubs for research. They have been used widely in medical settings since the 19th Century during training and as CPD. Journal Clubs are an informal and social way to discuss research and keep practitioners up to date, whilst providing an opportunity to discuss how research is relevant to practice and developing skills of critical analysis.
There have been an increasing number of schools interested in developing clubs for themselves, particularly since the first researchED national conference in 2013, where Dr Ben Goldacre introduced the suggestion of Journal Clubs as a way for schools to become more research engaged. There are many different ways schools are using Journal Clubs and it’s about finding a format that works in your setting.
Features of Journal Clubs with high attendance and longevity include; mandatory attendance, perceived importance by management, and availability of food. The last one is easy to take care of and is something you can use to promote your meeting. The chances are it’s not going to be possible to make attendance compulsory, but you may find you can build something into a training event. As with most initiatives though, getting support from management is really beneficial. Whether it’s help with resources or having the time to organise; getting staff from all levels, including managers, involved in Journal Club will help to keep things going.
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