Being part of a regular journal club can help you and others to keep up to date and to take on some of the key skills needed to use evidence to improve practice.
A journal club is a way in which people interested in a common topic can come together to discuss and evaluate research articles published in peer reviewed journals.
Why you might want to get involved with journal clubs:
Often journal clubs will include discussion of if and how the evidence may impact practice. It is one way of keeping up with an increasing volume of palliative care evidence, highlighting new findings, and developing skills in appraising articles. Having these skills can help you to evaluate new findings and what they might mean in terms of the care you and your organisation provide.
There is evidence for the positive impact of journal clubs on Evidence Based Practice (EBP) knowledge and skills. [1,2]
The journal club will be shaped by your audience and the articles chosen.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham library (US): Steps to developing a journal club provides a ten step guide. This is summarised in Box 1. As you go through each step there are a few points to remember.
Remember when identifying goals that this will depend on your audience:
You can search for articles using bibliographic databases. Which one you use can depend on your area of interest, type of studies of interest, or whether you want to search across databases. For example:
The volume of research articles to choose from can be overwhelming so it may help to consider:
Search filters are pre-written search strategies. There are many filters available including:
The articles reviewed will depend on your interests and goals. Some articles require payment for viewing. Others are available for free (free full text). For a journal club you may find it easier to target freely available articles but remember that in this way you may miss some key articles that are relevant to your topic.
Once you have selected the article(s) ideally you will summarise each and make this and the full text article available to your audience before the journal club.
A clear summary of the article can help to promote discussion around the findings and is useful for people who are interested but have limited time available. In your summary remember to:
The article How to develop a successful journal club (2.22MB pdf) by Russell et al  includes a useful Research Report summary form.
If your group finds it difficult to get together in the one place, consider holding an online journal club. This can be done using a mix of web platforms and social media as outlined in Box 2.
The advantage of a virtual journal club is that the number of participants is not restricted by the size or location of the room.
See also from Nursing times Tips for using WhatsApp for a virtual journal club (446kb pdf).
Ten steps for setting up an online journal club. 
Last updated 03 September 2021