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Genetics & Genome Biology


GGB Molecular Medicine Journal Club and Research Seminar Series

Thank you for agreeing to present in the GGB Molecular Medicine Journal Club. The following guidelines are designed to help you put your presentation together and make the journal club a worthwhile learning experience for everyone.

Purpose of Journal club: The purpose of the GGB Molecular Medicine Journal Club is to give trainees experience in developing and presenting a critical evaluation of a research paper to an audience of fellow scientists. As a general approach, you should undertake the process as if you were acting as a reviewer of a submitted manuscript for a journal (see below). Simply relating the story of the paper or the methods employed in the paper does not constitute a proper review.

Logistics: The Journal Club will be held once a month on Fridays from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. in the PGCRL Event Room 1; 686 Bay Street Toronto, ON M5G 0A4 (unless otherwise stated). A projector will be provided. Should you require a laptop and/or laser pointer please contact seminar.notice@sickkids.ca at least two days before your presentation date. You will need to arrive 10 to 15 minutes prior to the presentation time so that your computer can be connected or your presentation can be uploaded from your USB pen drive. You should plan on a 45 to 50 minute presentation, allowing for questions during and after. You should contact seminar.notice@sickkids.ca at least 15 days prior to your presentation and let her know which article you will be presenting.

Choosing an article: Pick an article that you think will have broad appeal to a mixed audience of scientists and clinicians and is likely to represent a major advance in the field of molecular medicine (i.e., the article must have some obvious relevance to health and disease). These articles are usually published in high impact journals. However, bear in mind that not every milestone paper is published in a high profile journal. You might consider presenting two articles together if they are both too short to present individually or if they are complementary advances. If you have questions about choosing an article, ask your supervisor or contact Dr. Michael Wilson (michael.wilson@sickkids.ca).

Critical analysis: Your presentation should contain the following key points:

Background - Give enough background information so that your audience understands how this paper builds on previous work and addresses critical issues in its field. Sometimes this means summarizing findings from one or two key papers that general knowledge to the department (e.g. methods, disease-specific information, acronyms preceded it. Know your audience and ensure that your background slides also include slides specific about the topic that are not considered, etc.).

State the authors’ hypotheses – both explicit and implicit. Summarize any unusual methods of the paper - If needed, give background technical details if the paper uses unusual or novel experimental techniques.

Critically describe the key results of the paper - Do the results described in the paper actually show what the authors state? How strong do the results support the claims made by the authors and would any further experiments strengthen those claims? It's not necessary to present every figure and table, but don't forget important data that may be buried in the supplemental figures. When relevant, consider pointing out alternative experimental approaches or interpretations of the results.

Summarize and critique the discussion and claims of the paper - The same issues regarding logical validity and strength of the results apply to the authors' discussion and conclusions. Are the claims made by the authors supported by the data, could the experiments or experimental procedures be improved upon and most importantly have the authors supplied enough evidence, in your opinion, to fully answer the papers’ hypothesis? Finally, tell us why you chose the paper, why you think it was published where it was, how it advances our knowledge of science and medicine and whether or not you as a reviewer would accept the paper.

As a further aid for preparing your presentation, you may want to consult the Nature Publishing Group’s guidelines to reviewers, which are available on line at: http://www.nature.com/authors/policies/peer_review.html - top