FOR a few weeks I've been toying with the idea of an online Journal Club. As a PhD student I am encouraged to take part in organised journal clubs, where current papers are discussed, scrutinized and learnt from. I am lucky in that my research group run their own journal club, but I am all too aware that many do not have such an opportunity. Furthermore, as part of a course I have been attending lately I was asked to critique a microbiology paper - this being unrelated to my own field of research - and I learnt a lot from the experience, approaching a paper as a rank outsider, picking up on what is clear and what is not considering my background knowledge of the topic was next to nil.
So I thought about setting up an online journal club, a place to discuss papers of fields all across science, because we can all learn a great deal in doing so. Plus, those that do not attend journal clubs themselves could use the site to boost their analytical, discussion and presentational skills. It became more of an idea, however, as I started to think about how it might work and what rules and controls would be needed.
I kept the idea reasonably quiet, lest anybody beat me to it.