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Learning outcomes

Intended learning outcomes (ILOs)

After attending a Journal Club a student should be able to:

  1. State the status of the field in which the paper is written  
  2. Identify the problem that is tackled in the paper               
  3. Understand (broadly) the solution presented in the paper
  4. Explain this solution orally        
  5. Formulate a brief summary of the paper  
  6. Relate the results of the paper to related fields    
  7. Know how the solution offered in the paper is perceived by the community 
  8. Make a personal critical judgment    
  9. Further explore the subject individually    

The following template is intended for a 30 min long presentation, but can be adapted for shorter presentations. Currently (spring 2021), we aim for 20-25 minutes presentation, plus questions/discussions. As a PhD student, you are awarded 0.25 hp per journal club presentation.


  • Introduce the paper
    Give paper, first author, and publication date [ILO 1,9].
    Summarise the paper (in 1 sentence) + explain why the paper is important (in one sentence)  [ILO 5,6].
  • Introduction to the field [ILO 1,6]
    Use the first part to lay out what we are talking about, outline the subject (define key concepts here).
    Use the second part to introduce current thinking about the subject of the paper / explain what we do not know. (This could be a rather detailed argument).
  • Identify the key  problem [ILO 2]
    Explain the problem with current thinking (this builds directly on the last argument).
  • Identify the contribution of these authors in overcoming this problem [ILO 3,4]
    “In this paper, the authors have ….”  (what they have done) “…which makes it possible to…”  (what the authors conclude and how this overcomes the key problem)
  • Further explain in broad lines what the authors did to overcome this hurdle [ILO 3,4]
    This is typically rather technical, so to get the point across typically one needs some time to do so.
    Here one explains the methodology used in the paper.
  • Implications [ILO 6,8]
    Why is the paper important? What will it change more than solving (?) the main problem discussed. (This is of course already a personal judgment of the paper.)
  • Discussion [ILO 7,8]
    Give a clear personal judgment (good/bad) and predict impact on other fields.