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Journal Clubs on PLoS ONE articles

Journal Clubs are a popular feature on PLoS ONE papers. They tend to come in batches: several in a row, then a pause, then another batch. And we just had a long pause so it is time to try and revive the activity again. The finals are over, so everyone has more time for reading and discussing papers, right?

What does it mean – a Journal Club? In short, a group volunteers to discuss one of the more recent (or even upcoming, not yet published articles in a field of choice) PLoS ONE papers and to post their discussion as a series of comments, annotations and ratings on the paper itself, triggering a discussion within a broader scientific community.

We are aware that PLoS ONE articles are discussed at lab meetings already. What we would like to see is those discussions made public – as a service to others and especially as a service to the students in the future.

For this to work well, we would like you to coordinate with us – timing is everything. If we know you are discussing our paper we can help you with the logistics and we can promote your group and your Journal Club by linking to it from the PLoS ONE homepage, on everyONE blog, and on various social networks.

There are different ways to do this. For example, each individual member of the group can register and post his/her own comments and ratings independently. Or, the discussion can be collected and prepared by one person – a group leader – and posted all at once. Either way, posting a discussion in several smaller chunks tends to promote further discussion better than posting everything in a single, very long comment.

So, go forth and comment on papers in areas you are interested in. Post ratings as well. If you discuss a paper elsewhere, on a blog, try to send a trackback (or if that doesn’t work – place a link to it in a comment).

And if you are a member of a lab group, a graduate seminar, an honors class, or an AP Biology class, let me know if you would be interested in doing a Journal Club on one of the PLoS ONE papers in the future – a great exercise for you, nice exposure to your group, and a service to the scientific community of today and tomorrow. If you and your group would like to do a Journal Club in the future, let us know – e-mail me at:

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