I promised I would write about the first Microbiology Twitter Journal Club (#microtwjc), held yesterday, so here it is. Click through the images below for larger versions. As ever, I am grateful for the invaluable help of Martin Hawksey.
78 people used that hashtag (not all during the live session, these numbers include the runup period), with at least 131 conversations (in the jargon, 78 nodes, 131 edges). For a live view of the network (very exciting, recommended :-), click this link.
So where do we go from here? Onwards, clearly :-) I’m really looking forward to the next journal club. Stay tuned to #microtwjc for details. It is important that this remains a student-led process, but it would be great to have some more academics contributing (without taking over).
A key aspect for success is choosing the right paper, which needs to be interesting, high quality, but with enough uncertainly to promote discussion. The danger is burnout for the organizers, who are also busy doing lots of other things. It’s up to the community to help out by suggesting suitable papers for discussion via the hashtag so that all the burden of organizing doesn’t fall on a few people.
Should authors be invited to take part? I see no harm in this as long as they are given adequate notice, although I suspect that most will not want to. The other option is to try to invite one or two subject “experts” for each paper.
I’m sure other people will have further suggestions, so let’s hear them. We’re off to a great start!