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Evaluating the implementation of journal clubs into the biomedicine curriculum to promote physiological research and increase graduate capital

Jones, Matthew



Journal clubs are routinely used within academic research institutes and allied health professions to boost critical thinking and disseminate knowledge of novel research concepts (Honey & Baker, 2011). These group-based discussions regarding scientific literature have been shown to build internal knowledge, transferable skills and allow for the sharing of expertise across disciplines (Wenke et al., 2019). Many of these factors align with those of the graduate capital model and are highly desired for post-graduation employability (Clarke, 2018; Tomlinson, 2017). However, limited research has been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of journal clubs in developing these skills at an undergraduate level, and specifically in biomedicine-aligned degree programmes. These degrees contain vast amounts of physiology; however, a limited number of graduates seek to pursue physiological research following graduation from these programmes. This may be due to a lack of awareness regarding physiological research and/or limited opportunities to engage with research in a guided and structured manner. This study aims to determine if the use of structured journal clubs can promote an interest in physiological research and boost key transferable skills associated with increasing graduate capital.

This study was ethically approved by the University of Salford's ethical review board. All students from biomedicine-based degree programmes were invited to participate. Student feedback was assessed by the completion of an anonymous survey following the completion of each journal club. All questions were scored on a 5-point Likert scale including negative, neutral, and positive options. The responses to all questions were optional. Survey questions related to student demographics, career aspirations and feedback on the impact of journal clubs to boost key metrics of graduate capital.

A total of 24 out of 41 (58.5 %) students responded to the survey. Of the 23 respondents who provided answers regarding gender 21.7 % identified as male, 73.9 % as female, and 4.4 % as non-binary. All 24 respondents identified their ethical background with 29.2 % identifying as White, 45.8 % as Asian/Asian British, and 25.0 % as Black, African, Caribbean, or Black British.
A total of 22 (87.5 %) respondents stated that participation in the journal club increased their interest in pursuing a physiological research career following the completion of their degree. Of all respondents, 87.5 % also stated that these activities significantly increased their knowledge of physiological research methodologies and its associated ethical considerations. All respondents stated that journal club attendance positively impacted their understanding of scientific writing, their ability to critically analyse scientific research articles and enhance attainment in their degrees. The survey respondents also stated that journal clubs improved key graduate capital metrics including team working (91.6 %), communication (79.2 %), and confidence (66.7 %).

These data indicate that the majority of students who engaged with journal clubs increased their interest in pursuing physiological research-based opportunities post-graduation. They also highlighted that journal clubs had a positive effect on key transferable skills linked to improving their overall graduate capital.


Jones, M. (2023, July). Evaluating the implementation of journal clubs into the biomedicine curriculum to promote physiological research and increase graduate capital. Presented at Physiology 2023, Harrogate Convention Centre

Presentation Conference Type Speech
Conference Name Physiology 2023
Conference Location Harrogate Convention Centre
Start Date Jul 10, 2023
End Date Jul 12, 2023
Deposit Date Jun 10, 2024
Publisher URL