Twitter Journal Club #TJC15

February 20, 2015 Edit: We haven’t even gotten started and we have requests for a queue! So I’ve started a google form for now. Spreadsheet should be publicly available so that you can see everyone’s choices if you are curious – I just wanted to play around with Google Forms. Thanks for your indulgence on that. Now, back to the original post

Perhaps I should explain.

It all started with the way that I read journal articles nowadays.  I’ve always been a very kinesthetic learner (yes, I know that learning styles are out, but I really enjoy taking notes…it’s the only way I can focus) and now that we’ve reduced the amount of paper around here, I’ve resorted to typing out notes about articles on Twitter.  Yesterday morning I was reading a particularly interesting – if slightly linguistically challenging – article, which can be found here.  It was a fairly impassioned read for me, inspiring tweets such as this:

// and this:


I was reading this article because @francesbell recommended that I read it prior to reading the article that she and @jennymackness published together last week.  You can read more about their article and link to it through Frances’ blog here.

So, given that I follow both Frances and Jenny on Twitter and they both tend to be around at the time of day when I sat down to read their article, and Frances asked me to check it out and comment on their article, and I like to tweet about the articles I read…

I decided to live-tweet my reading of their article as an “event,” mentioning the authors as I went.  Now Frances has storified the entire event here but as I discussed in a recent post I don’t think Storify does the best job of capturing the essence. So here’s what happened…

I announced my intention to live tweet…

 I made multiple comments like this…

Frances and Jenny chime in during my musings like this…

 And then other friends pipe up…

// //

And then other friends join in and add a hashtag and a .gif to what has become a true a live-tweet article reading event.

 And finally other friends caught on to the serendipitous fun later on during the day, and suddenly we were talking about scheduling this sort of thing as an informal, un-journal club event, like this:


So, in summary, here’s the deal:

We are all busy people who sometimes need motivation to read articles, even if they are articles that we desperately want to read.  Making appointments with friends to read and discuss is a time-honored tradition (book clubs, journal clubs).  It works.  It’s social, engaging, and allows for discourse.  It’s even better when you get the authors involved.

Here’s the #connectedlearning, un-schooling twist:

You don’t have to read in advance.  I still have nightmares about journal club when I was an OB-GYN resident…Exhausted, forced to read articles that were just barely comprehensible and certainly not relevant to my life as a resident at a busy inner-city hospital (I once delivered 24 babies in 23 hours), I couldn’t stay awake long enough to read an article in advance. By not being prepared, my colleagues and I risked being skewered by an attending physician when we couldn’t recite the article to the rest of the group. I got skewered plenty and just did my best to make it through journal club without crying. 

And so I cannot stomach a traditional journal club.  We can read and comment together. I will invite the authors to be present so that we might have access to inside information.  @SuzanKoseoglu picked a lovely article (that I won’t be reading until our live tweeting event), which can be found here. You, of course can approach the journal club in any way that will support your engagement…do you feel more comfortable reading in advance? that works for me as long as we assume that at least some of us are reading and commenting in real time.

As an aside, I’ve found that highlighting the pdf and then screenshot-ing segments of the text is extremely helpful for discussing text via Twitter.  There are other options too, of course.  And don’t forget to cite in some way, either by including the link in your 140 chars or showing reference in your screenshot or…so many options.

As the invitation suggests, we will be tweeting with the hashtag #TJC15 (thank you @mdvfunes) at 9AM Eastern Standard Time / 2PM Greenwich Mean Time on Thursday February 26.

Please join us.  We would love to have you.  All of you :).



3 Comments Add yours

  1. what a great idea! 🙂 . I won't read in advance and I will do my best to join.


  2. Laura Gogia says:

    Wonderful! And thanks for being adventurous with us 🙂


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