Qualities of a Good Journal Club

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I don’t know about you, but before joining The Institute of Nursing Research, Nigeria. I had no idea what a journal club was. 

It’s not a common subject in Nursing, yet it’s necessary for professional development. 

In this article, we will see what a journal club is, the characteristics and qualities of a good one. 

What Is A Journal Club?

A journal club is a group of Individuals (especially of the same field/profession) who meet regularly to discuss and critically evaluate published articles in a research journal. 

I think it’s safe to add that, it is a forum for learning about research, its techniques, and its application for evidence-based practice

A journal club serves these purposes: teach and develop critical appraisal skills, increase exposure to rapidly evolving medical literature and help in informed clinical practice, facilitate better knowledge and literature awareness through group discussion with peers, provide a unique opportunity to promote interest in research while learning from experts about knowledge gaps and future research questions.

Admittedly, there are certain characteristics to look out for when considering a journal club or even setting up one. They include;

1Regular and anticipated meetings: An appropriate date, time, and location is fixed for meeting regularly. It ensures continuity and consistency of learning. The meeting schedule is done In a way that is convenient for the members for easy availability. Reminders can be sent to members before each meeting and prior notice given in case of a change of schedule. For instance. Members of the INR journal club meet bi-weekly on a Saturday which is a generally accepted time since most work activities end on Fridays.

2. Mandatory attendance: A good journal club makes attendance compulsory for its members. 

Apart from the fact that it shows the seriousness of the members, it also ensures progress and prevents the repetition of discussions

In INR-JC, members must attend meetings and if there is a genuine reason for being absent, prior notice is sent to an official so that recordings and materials can be sent to the individual after the meeting.

3. Clear long- and short-term goals: This is planned and accepted by the members. It brings focus, prevents time wastage, and ensures set targets are met appropriately.

4. A trained journal club leader to choose papers and lead discussion: This can be a senior researcher or one experienced in research to coordinate, lead and guide each discussion. 

It is one of the things I appreciate INR-JC for. 

We have seasoned research experts in nursing who teach, guide and answer questions. It makes learning easy.

5. Circulating papers before the meeting: This is done to prepare members for each meeting and ensure a free flow of discussion.

6. Use of the internet for wider dissemination and data storage: The internet is an important tool in the area of research. It is easier not only for disseminating information and materials but in storing data for future use.


We would continue from here in the next article, where we will discuss the basic attributes of a good journal club such as Community, Inclusion, etc. 

If you have questions or clarifications about this topic, do not hesitate to send your comments, they would be attended to promptly. 

I would like to also encourage you if you are yet to join the journal club of the Institute of Nursing Research Nigeria to do so now! It’s a wonderful opportunity, I tell you. 

Join the world of scholars today!

See you in the next article!


Selected References:

  • Y Deenadayalan et al. J Eval Clin Pract. 2008 Oct.
  • Surajit Bhattacharya. Indian J Plast Surg. 2017 Sep-Dec; 50(3): 302–305. doi: 10.4103/ijps.IJPS_222_17


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