Join your fellow students once a month for informal discussions of a selected paper. ACS journal editors select a different article each month and lead the discussions. It’s a great way to meet the editors, get to know other students, and learn about new areas of chemistry!

Watch here for information about the next ACS Journal Club!

Join a Journal Club meeting

  1. Register for the meeting when it's announced. 
  2. Read the paper chosen by the participating editor, even if you find it challenging. The paper is normally announced two weeks before the meeting. 
  3. Join the meeting to ask your questions and discuss the paper.
Watch @acsundergrad social media and here for the date of the next Journal Club.

Tips for reading journal articles

Whether it’s your first time reading a journal paper or you’re just struggling with the topic, don’t worry if you have a hard time with this month’s article. Here are some tips for reading papers:

  • Start with the abstract, introduction, and conclusions to get a broad idea of the work.
  • Take a deep dive into the article to understand the work.
  • Review the results and graphs; ask:
    • Are the results reasonable, given the procedure used?
    • Do the conclusions match the data?
    • What does this mean for the field? For my research?
    • What would be an intriguing follow-up study?
  • Take notes and highlight key passages.

How to Organize a Chemistry Journal Club

A journal club is a great way to build your chemistry literature skills in conversation with fellow students. Get together with new friends you met at a Social Distancing Social, or team up with your ACS Student Chapter to start a journal club.

  • Use your goals to identify your strategies. If you want to:
    • Keep up with the latest research... have participants find and present different papers in your common field.
    • Improve your journal reading skills... find a single paper to share and discuss.
    • Learn about different fields... have everyone present papers from journals in any field or focus at each meeting.
  • Build comaraderie. Include social time and snacks.
  • Meet at a regular time.
  • Choose a leader/facilitator for each meeting.
  • Try different formats, such as:
    • Presentation by facilitator or members
    • Team debates
    • Discussion questions from the group
    • Guest facilitators
  • Keep the atmosphere friendly and inviting.

How to Find Articles to Read

  • Find interesting articles in the news (C&EN is a good starting place), then read the referenced journal article.
  • Try open access journals, like:
  • Most schools have access to peer-reviewed journals. If you are cut off from those, ACS members can download 50 articles per year for free.

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