We are very pleased to announce the launch of CJASN's eJournal Club. We hope to engage readers in an interactive "electronic" journal club experience, with more immediacy and timeliness. This format should also promote discussion among nephrologists and allow for a stimulating conversation with the authors.
There are a number of electronic communal experiences that provided inspiration for this format. Oprah Winfrey on her late television show encouraged people to read the same book concurrently. Local communities have done the same to promote reading among students and families. Conversations ensue that lead to a more enjoyable and intellectually stimulating shared experience. The Nephrol list was started in the mid-1990s by Dr. Kim Solez; it is an international phenomenon of impressive duration and topical discussion and exchange. The New York Times has required many of its reporters and columnists to have blogs to promote an immediacy to the news and allow participation and commentary that keeps things fresh.
The eJC will work in the following way. An article published in CJASN will be selected on a monthly basis by the eJC editor and Editor-in-Chief. The criteria for selection will include: 1) original articles only; 2) articles of broad interest to the nephrology community; 3) and articles that are notable for being controversial, innovative, potential to change practice,; challenging practice guidelines or in any other way are expected to be widely read and influential. We will select an article only if the authors agree to participate. Sir William Osler first formalized a journal club to save on the price of journal subscriptions; keeping with that tradition, a PDF of the article will be available at the eJournal Club website for ASN members and non-members alike. The articles and the ensuing comments will remain available at the eJC website and available to all.
Currently, the typical journal club involves one individual who selects an article and leads the discussion. However, while preparing for journal club, questions always arise about the study methodology, results, interpretation. There is no easy way to get the answers to these questions prior to presenting. Even more importantly, questions usually arise during the journal club discussion that only the authors could answer; yet, after time and energy are devoted to the discussion, everyone leaves the room with the questions unanswered. We hope that eJC will add a new dimension to the typical journal club by allowing individuals to pose questions to the authors prior to their presentation and after the discussion. This will provide an interactive, longitudinal and more timely 'letters to the editor'.
Comments from readers are encouraged. Posts will be identified by posters' names; there will be no anonymous posts. Comments or questions can be directed to the authors and will be passed on and moderated by the eJC editor. Each comment will have a title which might include such obvious choices as: hypothesis; methods; results; discussion; significance; implications. Threads would develop by having posts in reply to other posts, and branches in threads will be possible. Authors will have their posts highlighted as "authors' replies". The editor will maintain decorum and civility and comment in reply to selected posts.
We encourage nephrology fellowship training programs to participate by selecting the CJASN eJC article as the subject of their local journal club. After the local discussion in the hospital setting, a fellow could summarize some of the program's joint analysis, indicate controversial aspects of the study and pose questions to the authors.
Our goal is for CJASN readers to have an opportunity to participate in an international discussion of the latest literature. We hope the eJC will provide an enjoyable and stimulating experience and look forward to its evolution to meet readers' needs. We welcome your participation and feedback.
David S. Goldfarb MD
Editor, eJC, CJASN
Gary C. Curhan, MD, ScD