Twitter Microbiology Journal Club #microtwjc

April 23, 2012

At the Society for General Microbiology’s Spring Conference in Dublin I attended a talk given by Natalie Silvey on Twitter Journal Club.

The Twitter Journal club (@twitjournalclub) was started in June 2011 and runs as a traditional journal club that discusses medically-related papers with the twist being it is all done by the medium of Twitter.

Having lurked at @twitjournalclub’s meetings a few times and listened to the talk at the SGM I thought it would be great if there was a microbiology journal club and I think others at the meeting thought so too. 

One month after the conference and there is no sign of one being set up so I figured I would get the ball rolling and give it a try…

Details will follow but what I really need are some willing volunteers to help me choose papers, run and moderate it.  It would also be good if people could help out putting transcripts together (I guess storify might be the easiest way of doing this?)

My plan is that we will run twice a month (edited for clarity!) as @twitjournalclub do (schedule to be decided depending on when volunteers can make it but will likely have a UK bias as that is where I am based) and ideally we would have at least a couple of moderators each time.  If there are enough people to help out it would mean that moderators would only have to be around once a month or perhaps less so it shouldn’t take over too much of our lives!  (My aim is for this to be fun and not just another work-related thing to occupy our precious time!)

If you are reading this and thinking it sounds like a good idea but you don’t have enough experience to volunteer – YOU DO!  I did barely any microbiology in my undergrad degree and I’m a second year PhD student – to be honest I feel like a bit of a fraud setting this up!  But my hope is that the volunteers are just there to steer the conversation/ask questions if it all goes a bit quiet.  Hopefully other, more experienced researchers will take part and they can help us out if we get stuck.  Hey – the worst that will happen is that we don’t understand something and so we will go away and find it out and learn something new.  Please don’t be put off helping out because of your level of experience.  ANYONE is welcome.

If you are interested and would like to help out please can you comment here/email me (link in the side bar)/talk to me on Twitter (@_zoonotica_).  It would also help if you could let me know what type of microbes you work with so I can try to make sure we have all areas covered.

For everyone else who can’t help out but would like to take part… watch this space and watch twitter #microtwjc


E Coli picture – Released into the public domain by Mattosaurus

Desk picture – Original picture by MZMcBride. Derivative work by Train2104.  Available at: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Less_busy_desk_red.svg?uselang=en-gb



  1. Hey – this sounds really cool, for info I am a virus-type person 🙂

    • Fabulous – I was just about to pester you via Twitter to ask for your help anyway 🙂

  2. I’m happy to contribute but sadly I don’t have time to help organize. Time-wise you need to go for a time when people from Europe and North America are available, so early evening UK? By bi-weekly, you mean twice a month, yes?

    • Twice a month, yes (sorry for the confusion – I was typing between timepoints in the lab and so clarity may have suffered!). I was thinking around 8pm ish London time like the other journal clubs but it will in part depend on the availability of the other moderators.

  3. Cool idea. I look forward to the discussions 🙂

  4. like to contribute………but i stay in India..:)

    • Hmmm I’m not sure how the timezones will work but hopefully you will be able to take part live. Failing that I plan on having transcripts of the journal club posted so people who can’t make the club can follow what happened. Sending you a message re contribution anyway 🙂

      • thanx for ur consideration!!!

  5. […] on zoonotica.wordpress.com   If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing […]

  6. […] Having seen the success of #twitjc and #phtwitjc I decided to try setting a microbiology one up. […]

  7. This is a terrific blog, would you be interested in doing an interview about how you created it? If so e-mail me!

  8. Reblogged this on Apple of my eye.

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