M&B Journal Club?

  1. hypnagogue

    hypnagogue 2,265
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    I was wondering if any of the denizens of this forum would be interested in starting up an online journal club sort of thing. Essentially, interested parties would start new threads summarizing and discussing scientific papers pertaining to mind and brain sciences, and other members of the club (and anyone else who might be interested) could then discuss it further. We could organize it so that e.g. we have a new article to discuss every week, with different members of the club taking turns.

    There's obviously a lot more that could be said about the details of how to organize this and so on, but first I'd just like to put the feelers out there. Would anyone be interested in participating in something like this on a regular basis?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. I don't know much about Mind and Brain sciences, but I would be very interested in it, if the articles were good.
     
  4. somasimple

    somasimple 716
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    Hi,

    I'm very interested, too. I already summarized some good journals on this page. (but they're not all devoted to neurosciences :redface: )

    http://www.somasimple.com/online_journals.htm
     
  5. Q_Goest

    Q_Goest 2,967
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    Denizens? Is that like a den citizen? Do we get to lounge around on comfy chairs and smoke pipes and drink tea or must we knaw on uncooked bones rolling around the cave floor? Either is good for me I suppose, just want to know what's expected.

    I'd suggest that emailing the paper's author and explaining our denizens are chewing on their paper and would like them to participate often gets the author's attention. I've done that a few times at different message boards, and it generally works out. Makes the conversation more interesting too I think.
     
  6. i'd like to be in a journal club
     
  7. hypnagogue

    hypnagogue 2,265
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    OK, so some encouraging feedback so far, but I'd like to see if we can get a few more people in order to make this thing viable.

    Just to be clear, my question is not so much who would be interested in following along with the journal club, but who would be interested in being an active member-- that is, would be willing to periodically search for interesting mind/brain science articles and write up summaries and discussions for them, and also to participate regularly in presentations created by other members.
     
  8. selfAdjoint

    selfAdjoint 8,147
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    Well, I could help out, depending on how much my physics tasks keep me busy. Strings, Branes and LQG has already evolved part way to such a club. We spend most of our time reading and commenting (often arguing) about papers on the preprint arxiv. I have a couple of sources for M&B papers that I could exploit.
     
  9. If you all are accepting of the disparity between my background (high school) and yours and the limits it brings on the amount of insight and worthwhile discussion I can offer, I'm certainly up for participating in this. Another warning, though: I don't have any journal subscriptions, and the local college's (nascent, used to be a community college) database access doesn't offer near as many full text papers as I'd like, so I'll have to really scavenge about. However, I'm used to this.

    I would be willing to discuss whatever the cat (or the somasimple,hypnagogue, or selfAdjoint as it may be) brings in whenever I have a clue as to what it is and feel like my thoughts would be a contribution. And I'd bet my own article/paper posting frequency would be at least once a week.

    lates,
    cotarded.
     
  10. hypnagogue

    hypnagogue 2,265
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    cotarded, you would be a welcome addition. It's to be expected that everyone will have a pretty widely varying range of knowledge and experience with the kind of topics we'll be discussing. I'd say the only strong requirements are an enthusiasm for learning about and discussing mind/brain topics, and also a willingness to put in the time and effort to contribute.

    It seems like we're approaching an acceptable number of contributors, so I think we can begin discussing some of the surrounding issues regarding the club, a number of which were touched upon in cotarded's post.

    One thing is journal access. Once again, it's to be expected that different people will have varying degrees of access to journal resources. Optimally everyone would have a chance to read a given paper before the 'official' discussion thread on it is started, but practically speaking we can't expect everyone to be able to access every paper, and I don't think we should restrict the scope of what we can cover by only using articles that we're sure everyone can access. So we'll have to make do with what we can. We could begin by pooling together links for some free, publically available resources like the kind selfAdjoint mentioned so that everyone at least has some easily accessible resources to draw from if needed. (Some resources like this are already listed in the stickied M&B references thread.)

    Another thing to talk about is how we should organize this. Originally I was thinking of a fairly structured setup where we would know some time in advance who would be presenting what article on what day, and we'd limit ourselves to one presentation per week so we could really focus on each article as it comes. (To help organize all this, I could create a stickied thread that keeps a running tab of who has presented/will present what articles at what times, with links to the relevant threads for past discussions.)

    I definitely think we should still plan in advance who is presenting what on what day to give everyone time to track down and read the relevant articles. But perhaps we could loosen up the structure to the extent that we can have variable numbers of presentations per week, or variable orders in who presents when, or whatever. I think it would be valuable to have ample time before and after a presentation to really digest a given paper and then really be able to focus in on it discussion-wise, but I can also see merits behind flexibility as well. Thoughts on how we should do this would be appreciated. It would be best if we could strike on something that works for everyone, and of course we can tweak things as we go along if necessary.
     
  11. hypnagogue

    hypnagogue 2,265
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    One other issue springs to mind, which is presenting graphical data. It would be nice if, where possible, presentations could display relevant graphs or illustrations from a given paper, either by way of linking to an online image or by attachment to the post. However, I'm not sure how copyrights and proprietary issues and all that might come into play here. Can anyone shed some light on what kinds of images we could and could not post, and under what conditions?
     
  12. Q_Goest

    Q_Goest 2,967
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    I'll second that.

    Regarding how often a new paper is presented, once a week seems a bit much. Cotarded's post regarding McFadden's paper is 3 weeks running now and still generating discussion. Not to say once a week can't be supported, but everyone might not have sufficient time to review in a single week. Which makes me wonder how those people that actually do this for a living manage to make time to read and understand the fresh work that arives at their doorstep on a daily basis. My job doesn't allow that unfortunately.
    yes. Tweaking should not only be expected but be a priority.
    There's a lot available. I like Chalmer's page the best.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but any data presented on the internet is free for use as long as it is referenced. Check with Greg (I believe he's the PF owner) and verify.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2005
  13. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,266
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    This is a great idea Hypnagogue!!! I'd definitely be willing to participate (I wanted to start up something like this in biology a while ago, but didn't get much interest then...I think we didn't have enough people focused on any one area of interest at the time).

    Just looking at how much discussion the CEMI paper generated, I think it's a viable option.

    As for articles, we may just have to limit ourselves to articles over a year old if we want to keep them accessible to everyone. Many journals make their content freely available after a 1 year period. While I'm at home, I can check which are accessible because I don't use our university server from here, which means I see what the average person not affiliated with a university sees until I enter my login information.

    For neuroscience topics, one of the top journals in the field is the Journal of Neuroscience, which makes articles over 1 year old freely available to anyone (you can open them in html or download PDF formats, depending on preference). This is a good resource for articles. http://www.jneurosci.org/contents-by-date.0.shtml
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2005
  14. I'd be interested in a year or two.

    Thats gonna be alot of a articles if you take the wide range of fields though...i especially found it fascinating to peruse through those brain journals(which really confused me because my terminology wasn't to par as an undergrad... and the AI ones(I found Nanokitty in one).
     
  15. hypnagogue

    hypnagogue 2,265
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    Yes, it's a tenuous balance between having enough time to cover something adequately and not letting things drag on for too long. I don't think we need to make sure that all previous discussions are completely finished before we move on to a new one.

    Can we get some other thoughts on the best amount of time to devote to each article before moving on to the next one?

    I don't think there would be a problem for images posted on public webpages. I'm thinking more about e.g. an image found in an online article that one needs some kind of subscription in order to access.
     
  16. DocToxyn

    DocToxyn 432
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    Count me in. I would think that at least a week would be required to get all interested parties to download, read and critique the papers, so perhaps only one new title per week. The subsequent discussions would progress as far, or as long, as the subject and/or reader interest support them.
     
  17. hypnagogue

    hypnagogue 2,265
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    Yeah, this is more or less what I had in mind. Q_Goest suggests we should follow a slower pace, and cotarded seemed to imply a faster pace. Anyone else want to chime in?

    Also, I'm still wondering about the legality of posting images from articles that one needs a paid or university subscription in order to access online (of course, if we did so, we would provide references and so on). Perhaps DocToxyn or Moonbear would have some good insight into this?
     
  18. somasimple

    somasimple 716
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    Hi,

    On my site, we discuss about papers but often it is accepted to share them via a protected forum (private). It works like a room where members read a paper that one of us bought.
     
  19. hypnagogue

    hypnagogue 2,265
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    That sounds like a nice solution, but I'd rather have our club out in public, where everyone who might be interested can learn from the presentations and be a fly on the wall (or participate) in the discussions. If we have to sacrifice the ability to post certain things in order to do that, so be it (though of course, I would prefer if we did not have to do that).
     
  20. somasimple

    somasimple 716
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    Hi,

    I enhanced the solution with a public forum by the creation of a public group which is the only available to download protected papers. In this case, all posts are viewable by public/normal members but papers/attachments, only but members of the group.

    Papers have copyrights and need to be protected. Or you need to limit them to sample issues and free full text access journals.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2005
  21. Q_Goest

    Q_Goest 2,967
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    I'd like to know if people would prefer to have the paper's author invited or not.

    Thanks.
     
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