top of page

Journal Club

A regular meeting to critically evaluate research articles. Journal clubs are educational meetings where individuals meet regularly to critically evaluate recent articles in the scientific literature. They have often been cited as a bridge between research and practice, as they encourage the application of research in clinical practice.

The benefits of running a journal club

Journal Clubs enable you to meet regularly with your team members and other colleagues to critically discuss the clinical applicability and rigour of a chosen piece of research. Journal Clubs give staff the opportunity to develop their critical appraisal skills as well as providing a regular forum to discuss service improvements. The aim of a journal club is to challenge current practice and determine whether the research evidence supports a change in practice.

Setting up a Journal Club

Steps to setting up a journal club

  • Identify a facilitator for the meeting. Facilitator to schedule meetings, distribute papers, take notes, promote meetings, start/end meetings.

  • Identify a room/location to hold the journal club or if the meeting could be held virtually. Consider any equipment for example you may want a PC/Laptop and projector or flipchart.

  • Decide how often you want to hold the journal club – and how long for.

  • Facilitator to identify a relevant and applicable article to be appraised and appropriate checklist to be used. 

  • Facilitator to post and distribute copies of the research article and checklist to members of the journal club in good time, so everyone can read the article in advance of the meeting.

  • Members to commit to reading the article in advance of the meeting.

  • Facilitator to take notes to be distributed to those unable to attend.

  • Evaluate the journal club. At the end of the meeting, gather feedback from participants. Determine how the next journal club meeting could be made more beneficial.

  • Before the end of meeting, schedule the next meeting and decide the next topic?

How the library can support you with your journal club

  • ​We can do an evidence search to identify relevant papers -we can either search on your behalf or we offer training on how to use the medical databases for yourself.

  • We can obtain full text papers when not available via your NHS OpenAthens account.

  • You can keep up to date with new developments in areas of interest to you and your department by signing up for Knowledgeshare current awareness alerts

Useful Information 

Esisi, M. (2007). BMJ Careers: Journal Clubs. BMJ, 335, s138


Schwartz MD, Dowell D, Aperi J, et al. (2007). Improving journal club presentations, or, I can present that paper in under 10 minutes. BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, 12, 66-68

Nursing Times Journal Club. Setting up a virtual journal club using WhatsApp


Aronson, J.K. (2017). Journal Clubs: 2. Why and how to run them and how to publish them. Evidence Based Medicine, 22(6), 232-234.

Chan, T.M. et al. (2015). 10 steps for setting up an online journal club. Journal of continuing education in the health professions, 35(2), 148-154

Visit our Critical Appraisal page for further reading,including checklists and videos

bottom of page