Clinical Resources

Evidence Based Practice

Journal Club

How to Get Started

Starting up a journal club? Use these tips below to help.

Tips for Facilitators

  • Speak to your manager, if appropriate, and recruit co-facilitators. 
  • Reserve room/space for meeting; consider the format of your journal club (on-unit, virtual, etc)
  • Consider finding a mentor -- someone who has already successfully implemented a journal on another unit.
  • Select your first article based on a topic of interest to your staff. Choosing something of interest will keep people engaged and focused. Focus on articles that might have a direct impact on clinical practice.
  • Read the room; if your staff aren't well versed in critiquing articles, steer clear of complex clinical trials or any articles that are statistically difficult to understand.
  • Do your own initial article review to get familiar with what you'll ask the group to do. 
  • Come up with discussion questions prior to the meeting.
  • Advertise: create a poser, post on bulletin board, in break areas, in Collab, or email a notice out to all invited staff. 
  • Keep track of the group's progress -- consider having abinder with articles discussed, discussion summaries, and a record of attendance. 

Tips for Participants

  • Read article(s) selected prior to the meeting. Take notes.
  • Always be thinking how the article(s) apply to your practice and what level of evidence is represented.
  • Volunteer to lead discussion, especially if a topic is of particular interest to you.
  • Offer to help answer any unanswered questions at the end of the meeting. Disseminate any answers you find to the whole group. 
  • Keep an open mind! 
  • Be respectful of your peers level of experience with journal clubs and evidence based practice in general. 

How to Critique An Article

Click the "Critical Appraisal" tab to find review tools and checklists based on the type of study design used for your article. Review these sample questions to keep in mind while you're reading.

Sample questions:

  • Is the article relevant? How current is it? (Don't just look at the publication date--check the dates within the study.)
  • Is the journal reputable and peer reviewed?
  • What type of research study design was used?
  • What is the level of evidence?
  • Is the purpose of clinical question being asked in the article clear?
  • Was there a literature review?
  • What was the size and characteristics of the sample?
  • Are conclusions supported by the results?
  • Is this study applicable to my practice setting?
  • How does this study and its results compare to our current practices, guidelines, policies, or procedures?
  • Do the findings warrant and evidence based practice change?
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