How to run a journal club

Journal Club #11 – Monday 4th - Friday 8th April 2020

 

  Siobhan McCormack

Chairs: James Garrard @jamie_garr and Siobhan McCormack @siobhanmccorm

Read James and Siobhan's biographies.

Title:

How to run a journal club.

The discussion:

Throughout the week, we were thinking about how to run a successful journal club. Across Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, we posted questions and facilitated discussion and conversation - and invited your thoughts and comments. These were the questions we explored:

  1. What is a journal club, and why are they important?
  2. How should a journal club be organised?
  3. How do you select relevant papers?
  4. How to present at a journal club?
  5. What methods can be used to critically appraise a paper, and why is this important?
  6. How to decide if the results can be translated into evidence-based practice?
  7. What kind of journal clubs have you taken part in during your training/practice?

Below is a summary of responses:

May be an image of text that says "What do you understand a journal club to be, and why are they important? A platform to discuss recent articles and/or controversial topics which warrant further discussion or critical appraisal good way to: network learn (in addition to more traditional training methods) develop critical appraisal skills understand the evidence behind clinical practice learn more about evidence-based medicine keep up to date Journal clubs can help us look beyond 'p-values' in papers #CochraneTrainees"

May be an image of text that says "How should a journal club be organised? Have a clear focus Online (versus o-face) journal clubs can be easier to access and widen participation but may feel less personal Consider using different platforms (for example, Instagram live) Encourage an inclusive and non-judgemental environment Send the article well in advance so the group have time to read and critique it Make efforts to maximise participation (e.g. run at convenient times and regular intervals, offer food) Have a well-publicised rota and identify roles within the journal club #CochraneTrainees"

May be an image of text that says "How should a journal club be organised? Consider inviting a biostatistician -to provide expert advice on the results, validity and reliability a librarian -to help find and share further materials for any points that arise a senior/expert facilitator to help guide discussion people with lived experience to make it real people with clinical expertise -to put the question in context the author(s) -to respond to the appraisal researchers with different expertise both early career researchers and more senior staff You could try approaching people on Twitter #CochraneTrainees"

May be an image of text that says "How to select appropriate papers for your journal club? Papers with an impact on clinical practice can help stimulate interest But... it does not need to be a paper with important and/or practice-changing results could be a paper with some key learning points (for example, methods, outcomes, interpretation, knowledge translation) Pick studies that have practical relevance for all grades (if possible) Consider including very recent articles so that feedback can be given to the authors and/or journal If journal club is topic-specific, consider building a bank of relevant papers as a resource for current and future members #CochraneTrainees"

May be an image of text that says "How to present at a journal club? Allow time for people to read the paper (even briefly) beforehand but don't expect everyone will read it Find at least one person to commit to lead the discussion Remember that people may be nervous about presenting papers. Take steps to support members. For example: ask the facilitator(s) to present first, offer support or pair up junior colleagues Pre-prepare questions and discussion points to stimulate conversation Keep the presentation to time to allow discussion afterward (and to respect people's time) #CochraneTrainees"

May be an image of text that says "How to present at a journal club? Critical appraisal tools (for example, CASP checklists can help frame presentations Considering briefly giving: background information on the topic and reason(s) for selecting the topic an overview of the methodology, results, relevance, validity, and applicability Have a broad focus (less on specific details). For example, why was the study done? What is the main learning point and why does it matter? Any important limitations? What does it mean for participants? What next? #CochraneTrainees"

May be an image of text that says "What methods can be used to critically appraise a paper, and why is this important? Critical appraisal can help to distinguish evidence- based practice from opinion, assumption, misreporting or beliefs •Critical appraisal tools can help structure an analysis of the paper. For example, helping you to evaluate: validity reliability the extent to which results can be applied to practice CASP (Critical Appraisal Skills Programme) have checklists for all types of study design #CochraneTrainees"

May be an image of text that says "How to decide if the results can be translated into evidence-based ”e practice? Consider: if the results are valid and (clinically) significant if the results could be applied to your local population/context if the intervention could provide greater value to your population compared with existing interventions the availability of resources to implement the intervention (equipment, time, skills) Remember, a p-value <0.05 doesn't always translate to clinical benefit. Consider the difference between statistical significance and clinical significance. #CochraneTrainees"

 


Journal Clubs can be joined by using the hashtag #CochraneTrainees and following CochraneUK


 

A guide to joining in Journal Clubs can be found here.