Journal Club – how to present a paper

  1. summarize the main point of the paper
  2. discuss the importance of the question asked- place it in the context of the immediate field, and the larger field of science
  3. describe the paper in detail – working through the figures in order is the usual way this is done
  4. analyze the data- do they support the conclusions? Was each experiment necessary? Do the data seem to be reproducible? Are the methods appropriate to the experiment? Are the statistics solid?
  5. itemize the strengths and flaws of the paper-what would make it better? What would you have done?
  6. compare the paper to other papers- is it as well done, as significant, as trustworthy as others? Do the relative stature of the authors influence your interpretation of the paper? Was the paper published in the best journal for the topic or data?
  7. is the paper well written and the data clearly presented? Are the figures clear and easy to understand, without extraneous data? Was the Intro helpful?
  8. predict the next step in the research, and where the research might ultimately go.