Journal Club Guidelines
Journal club begins at 11:45am – typically we use that time for important
announcements & getting food. The first presentation begins promptly at 12pm and we will be
out by 1:00pm. There will be sign-in sheets that will be passed around to monitor your
attendance. Attendance at 8 professional development sessions is required. If you miss a
professional development session, you must make up for this by attending an ethics or career
development seminar outside of the journal club or read a relevant paper and write a 1-page
summary and submit it to Tirin Moore. You are not allowed more than 2 unexcused absences
per quarter. You will be required to present in journal club once per year for the first 3 years of
the graduate program.
The topic/paper of each journal club will be e-mailed out a week before the session. We
hope to have a lively discussion after each presentation! Thus, it is strongly advised that you
read these papers so that you can follow the talk and provide additional insight or input into the
2. Picking a topic
You have the choice of presenting a recent paper, a classic paper, or your research
work including rotation projects. If you are presenting a paper, do not pick a ‘bad’ paper –
pick a paper that is sound, important, and which you are willing to defend. You are encouraged
to present papers by the seminar speaker giving a talk the Thursday of the week you sign up to
present (see seminar speaker schedule). Recent papers are recommended since it ensures that it
has not been presented in the previous years’ journal clubs. A classic paper can be a paper that
you keep referring back to in your own research or that has relevance to exciting current topics.
As you pick a topic or paper, please post it on the journal club sign-up webpage, to ensure that
other students will be informed of this and to avoid multiple people preparing a talk on the same
You are required to email Hsing-Chen the title of your paper or topic of your
presentation preferably two weeks and at least one week before you're scheduled to present.
Include in your email the name of your faculty mentor, and if you pick a paper, the link to the
actual paper and a few sentences on why you picked this paper.
3. Picking a faculty mentor
In order to ensure the quality of the journal club student presentations, as well as provide
students with better opportunities to improve their research critique and presentation skills, we
are requiring that you match up with a faculty mentor before your journal club presentation. It is
up to you to decide whom to ask to be your mentor. While it is not a strict requirement, it is
advisable and strongly recommended that your faculty mentor be someone other than your
advisor for your own sake; you get to hear a different perspective, utilize the expertise of other
amazing professors here, and you might even learn something more about a field slightly beyond
your own! You can discuss background you are unfamiliar with, the finer points of the paper, or
how best to present the material – it is up to you to decide the best way to make use of your and
your mentor's time.
Request your mentor to watch your presentation on the day of; they can provide more
analysis of your speaking style and presentation skill since they already know the topic you're
talking about. We will notify the faculty that this policy is being reinstated so hopefully, they
will be open to speaking with you.
4. Talk guidelines
Prepare talks within time limits. Third years and second years will have 30 minutes
for both your presentation and questions. First years will have 20 minutes for both your
presentation and questions. Be considerate in planning your talk so that all presenters may
have the full time. Do more than just regurgitate the paper, know the background material and
use your knowledge to critique the paper, the results, and tell us why this paper is important.
Tirin or John will provide constructive feedback to the presenters at the end of each session and
students are encouraged to provide feedback as well. Finally, please prepare! No last-minute
Hsing-Chen & Sonia, your friendly JC reps