June 15, 2011

Online Journal Club: Twitter, Journalfire, Papers2 Livfe, Mendeley which tool is best?

Despite the social media revolution we are experiencing, engaging in an online medical journal club remains a tough challenge. Collaborative and social attitude is definitely required (this may already select a restricted population...). But even if you own this philanthropic virtue and are willing to share and enhance your knowledge, you will need to chose an online tool to get connected with other experts, students, scientists and doctors.

Here are some solutions I wish to present and very briefly discuss with you

1. Twitter Journal Club. I have read a lot of buzz lately on twitter regarding the #TwitJC.
The idea is intriguing but I definitely don’t find this solution time efficient or productive. Maybe discussion could be primed on twitter and in depth discussion developed elsewhere, redirecting with links? 

I think this is a good tool to comment specific papers but, strangely, I haven’t seen any community building.

Mendeley groups are a promising tool. For example if I search "Journal Club" I receive 76 results: most groups have a limited number of members (such as a specific lab group). 
If I search Cardiology, two groups are displayed. Clinical Cardiology has indeed 99+ papers but only 10 members.
At the moment Mendeley's groups give the impression to be a set of boxes with interesting papers, but without a real community discussion taking place.
I wish comments could be made directly on the article’s homepage and that the “Readership Statistics” could display the actual people that have that specific paper in their library.
I believe such social tools could spark engagement and collaboration on Mendeley.

4. Mekentosj’s Papers2 Livfe platform (beta testing at the moment)
Livfe collections (which are displayed as folders in the Papers2 application) have notifications whenever there is new material / comments from the people that have joined a specific (public or private) group.
At the moment Livfe is still in ealy beta phase, but for what I have had the opportunity to test, I think it's the tool that comes closest to be a time efficient and productive tool for an online journal club.

Thanks for your time, I am very interested in your comments.