: 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

Robust journal club in a teaching institute can have far-reaching effects

Sreenivasa Prasad Buduru 
 Department of Kayachikitsa, Shri B M K Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research (Deemed-to-be-University), Belagavi, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sreenivasa Prasad Buduru
Department of Kayachikitsa, Shri B M K Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research (Deemed-to-be-University), Shahapur, Belagavi - 590 003, Karnataka

How to cite this article:
Buduru SP. Robust journal club in a teaching institute can have far-reaching effects.Indian J Ayurveda lntegr Med 2021;2:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Buduru SP. Robust journal club in a teaching institute can have far-reaching effects. Indian J Ayurveda lntegr Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 9 ];2:1-2
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Full Text

Journal club is an academic exercise in which a group of people gather, learn, discuss, and critically evaluate a scientific publication. Journal club is an essential part of learning, updating the recent developments, and understanding the research process to get acquainted with the art and science of scientific writing and presentations. It is has become an essential academic activity in postgraduate courses. This will help them in enriching their knowledge, fundamental principles, innovative applications, evidence-based medicine, specialty practices, etc.[1],[2] It will help in knowing the scientist, team, unit, department, or the institute working on the area of interest. Journal club can be organized in specialty units, departments, or institutes. Journals are also bringing out the special journal club articles, like American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC) which has the AJCC Journal Club. Each issue has a journal club article with a website link providing with questions and discussions.[3] Recently, a journal club activity in Ayurveda is initiated by the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine.

The first formal journal club was started by Sir William Osler in 1877 for undergraduates at McMaster University. His objective was to facilitate the distribution of unaffordable periodicals.The journal club met during the dinner time. It later evolved into a book. He hoped that this activity will help in “training in the difficult science of debate.[4]”

KLE BMK Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya started postgraduate programs in the year 1998. Research and journal club activity were regularly conducted. However, it lacked the standards and motivation. The revival of journal club activity began in the year 2007. Institutional journal club has undergone series of transformations and upgradations since 2007 to attain its objective of a critical appraisal of standard scientific article, active discussion with the participants, and a translational effect on the institute. In 2007, an audit of the journal club activity showed serious lapses at multiple levels. Initially, it was observed that presenters selected articles from a substandard journal as they wanted to present Ayurveda articles in their area of interest. Due to the inadequate knowledge of research, scientific writing, methodology, and statistics, the journal club activity was of substandard quality. Checklist for presentation was inadequate. It also suffered from quality and intent of the mentors. Critical appraisals were not satisfactory. Discussions were not focused and deviated from the information available in the ancient Ayurveda texts. Language and art of presentations were not appealing. Enthusiasm from the participants was not encouraging.

Institute decided to bring a drastic change and upgrade it continuously. Multiple levels of transformations were done through audits, feedbacks, and inputs from scholarly persons. Above inadequacies were regularly addressed and quality assurance was ensured. Scholarly persons both from outside and within the institute presented the journal article to the staff and postgraduate scholars. They demonstrated the method and quality of article presentation and critical appraisals.

Currently, journal club is conducted by the Institutional Journal Club Committee. It comprises chairperson, member secretary, and members. The committee is formed of the individuals actively involved in research, publications, and also as editorial committee members of various scientific journals. Institutional journal club has two activities, one at the institutional level presentations and the other at the departmental levels. Coordinator assigns the schedule comprising date, time, name of presenter, and name of mentor well in advance. These activities are conducted offline and with COVID-19 pandemic, online digital platforms were used.

Journal club presentations include a checklist, which includes two parts. Fist part regarding the articles information such as justification of the article selection, mentioning of title, journal, issue, indexing, authors and their affiliations, citations, impact factor, grants and funding (Like ICMR, NIH, CCRAS), abstract, introduction, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, acknowledgments, and referencing pattern. The second part is the critical appraisal of the various aspects of the article such as title, abstract, introduction, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, tables and graphs, supplementary materials, language, referencing, and feedback.

In a journal club, article selection is done by the presenter by keeping his area of interest or an area is allotted as a part of modular teaching. Articles from a standard journal or indexed journals are selected. For a better understanding of different articles, all types of articles such as original, review, case report, and short communications are allotted. The presenter needs to thoroughly understand the article and be well versed with the references cited and go beyond the information cited in the article. He should have a 360° analysis of its contain and outcomes. Presentation needs to be understandable even to the trainees and junior scholars. Critical appraisals need to be well substantiated with other scientific evidences.

Journal club has brought a revolutionary change in the attitude of the staff and scholars. It has improved the reading habits of the latest scientific articles. Publication and evidence-based practices have improved considerably in our institute. Grants and projects have increased. Many pharma companies are approaching and are increasingly showing the interest in collaboration. Institute also received the best scientists and young scientists competing against all other health sciences in its deemed to be university, which is a unique accomplishment in the field of Ayurveda. Studies[5] have also reported impacts of journal clubs on reading and knowledge scores.

Journal clubs will imbibe them with the art of keeping abreast with the latest scientific information that will, in turn, help in their professional life, court of law, and in practice of evidence-based medicine. Journal clubs are the need of the hour in this rapidly evolving medical information, technology, and its applications. It is the duty of the institutes in general and postgraduate programs, in particular, to make it a vigorous and lively activity. It has far-reaching effects on the individuals, institutes, Ayurveda, and the science.


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2Harris J, Kearley K, Heneghan C, Meats E, Roberts N, Perera R, et al. Are journal clubs effective in supporting evidence-based decision making? A systematic review. BEME Guide No. 16. Med Teach 2011;33:9-23.
3Available from: [Last accessed on 2021 Jan 28].
4Cushing H. The Life of Sir William Osler. Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford at the Clarendon Press; 1925. p. 154.
5Linzer M, Brown JT, Frazier LM, DeLong ER, Siegel WC. Impact of a medical journal club on house-staff reading habits, knowledge, and critical appraisal skills. A randomized control trial. JAMA 1988;260:2537-41.