So, as Morgan explained in a recent post to his blog, the idea of an online evolutionary biology journal club started with the realization of a shared interest in discussing current / conceptual topics in evolutionary biology, coupled with a slight frustration of not being able to do so at our home institutions – because they are small, there isn’t enough interest around, and/or because we simply can’t get enough of it. I think the idea is awesome and the timing is perfect.
I created this blog to work as a hub and facilitate our organization. (EDIT: just to clarify, as Morgan’s post details, we will meet online using Google+ Hangouts to discuss the papers). Depending on how things work out, we can even expand it and use it to post aspects of our Journal Club discussions that may be of a broader interest to those that couldn’t / didn’t want to join the meeting discussion.
But first things first!
The absolute first thing we need to figure out is when to meet. I like the suggestion of having it during the week – perhaps in the late evening? This way we can relax from a long day’s work by reading and discussing some science! 😀
OK, let’s herd some cats! I’m guessing meeting every other week is something we can aim for conservatively. I created a NeedToMeet calendar to try and schedule (times are in EST/EDT). You don’t need to be invited or even register to the site in order to mark down your availability – so this should be pretty inviting to everyone!
The second thing we need to figure out as soon as we can is what to discuss. What paper should we read in the first and following meetings? So here’s the idea I came up with: Everyone interested in joining the Online Journal Club should post to the comments (after marking in the calendar your availability) a brief introduction that includes the following information:
– your general interests / expectations for this journal club;
– a couple reading suggestions for the club. Make sure to include:
- author, year, title & where it was published
- the length in pages of the paper (as this might influence someone’s interest in reading it for a discussion group, or for next week)
- a link to the paper, if possible.
(EDIT: if you feel like joining the journal club discussion but don’t want to suggest readings at this point, feel free to just say “hi” in the comment section!)
Based on this we can later this week have a poll to decide our first reading, and possibly our sequence of readings! This way we can see what interests most of the group. What do you think?
So mine would look something like this:
Hi everyone! My name is Rafael Maia and I am a PhD candidate at the University of Akron. My interests include sexual selection, macroevolution, and speciation. I’d like to suggest the following readings:
Just a reminder, this is an absolutely collaborative thing we’re attempting to start. As people start to join in and this journal club starts fleshing out, I will start adding participants to this blog so we can all help it grow together. And if any thing I proposed above sounds bad, just let us know in the comments below so we can make it better! 🙂
Does that sound good? Let’s get this thing rolling! 🙂