Journal Club Guidelines

Journal Club is a mandatory event for all students in the MD/PhD program. Students will be registered for CONJ 606MD: Journal Club year round and will receive credit for this course. Each student will be assigned a week in which to present 1-2 times each year throughout the entirety of their program and will be notified of this assignment approximately 6 weeks to 4 months in advance. Students in their MD clinical years are not required to present. First year students will generally be assigned a week to present in the winter or spring of their first year. 

It is the student's responsibility to arrange a replacement if they are unable to present during their assigned week.

View upcoming and past journal clubs

The Article

Choose a well-written published article that interests you. Choose an article that represents an important advance in this field of research. High impact journals are a great place to start, but do not guarantee the importance of an article. Before finalizing your article, discuss your selection with your peer mentor or other MD/PhD students who have previously presented. 

The article title and URL should be sent to the at least a week in advance of your scheduled presentation.


As journal club attendees will have a wide range of experience and expertise, the presenter should provide a background to their chosen article at the beginning of their presentation. About a third of your presentation time can be spent on the background.

The background should give the article context within its field and familiarize the audience with the relevance of the research being presented within the article. Knowledge of basic scientific techniques within the audience should be assumed, however any specialized scientific or research techniques should be explained. Summarize and discuss any previous studies that are heavily relied on in the introduction of the article.

The Article Review

Review important findings and conclusions drawn within the article. Covering every figure within the article is not required, particularly articles with extensive online supplements. Consider the quality of the data and whether or not it supports the authors' conclusions. Be prepared to discuss any questions that the article may raise and the future directions of research.

In Summary

  • Pick an article with good data and innovative research
  • Provide a background for the research
  • Explain any non-standard techniques
  • Present important findings
  • Discuss authors' conclusions and whether the data supports it
  • Put conclusions in context of future research