Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health - Journal Club

Welcome to Journal Club!

Writing a Journal Club article for Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health is an excellent introduction to evidence-based medicine for a clinician at any level of training or specialty.  It can even form the basis of an RACP Advanced Training Project in General Paediatrics.  If you're interested, please read on below and contact us!

What is Journal Club?

The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health welcomes submissions for its subsection “Journal Club” edited by Associate Professor Patrina Caldwell. Journal Club articles reflect what happens at journal clubs, where healthcare professionals come along with a clinical question, search for evidence, critically appraise the best evidence and then apply it to their patient and reflect how the research could have been done better. They should be no more than 2500 words and ideally written by a trainee or two working with a more senior mentor or supervisor.

Why is Journal Club useful?

Journal Club is an excellent introduction to evidence-based medicine. As social media and movements such as #foam gain increasing prominence and use, we are looking to increase the relevance and reach of Journal Club. Working with the Don’t Forget the Bubbles ( the JCPH online teams (, we are aiming to promote Journal Club as a way to learn about, create and share evidence-based knowledge in paediatrics.

What could I get out of writing a Journal Club article?

If you are now thinking this all sounds like a lot of work, please still read on. We are looking at ways to mentor trainees through the process. If you are interested, we encourage you to contact us to discuss how to get a Journal Club article up and running. Publishing a Journal Club article is a useful addition to your resume and could form the basis of a College project. It may lead to long-term mentoring relationships and start you off in the world of evidence-based medicine.


Trainee perspective – Cathie HIlditch

As a first-year paediatric trainee, I have found publishing a journal club article to be an invaluable experience. The structure of the article is particularly relevant to those undertaking training and ongoing learning in paediatrics. By focusing on a specific clinical scenario, and utilising evidence-based medicine to inform a clinical decision, this style of article reiterates the importance of applying up-to-date research in every day practice. I now am more attentive that in my everyday clinical practice, I try to consider the evidence-based reasoning behind different management decisions. Writing this article has also helped me to develop skills in database searches, critical evaluation of articles and literature review. I would absolutely recommend other trainees to write Journal Club articles. It has been an instrumental experience and I look forward to submitting further articles myself!

Supervisor perspective – Amy Keir

Working with trainees towards the publication of a Journal Club article is an invaluable exercise. It allows for a mentored process in how to undertake a search of the literature, then review and appraise it to answer a structured clinical question. It is teaser for what it is like to undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis. It allows for teaching about online submission processes and how to respond to peer-review. These are all valuable activities for trainees in paediatric emergency medicine, general paediatrics and beyond.

What is the structure of a Journal Club paper?

A Journal Club article is made up of a clinical scenario, structured clinical question, search strategy, table of relevant papers found in the search, a critical appraisal of all relevant papers, followed by a brief discussion of how to do the research better, how to apply the information to the patient and the clinical bottom line. Your hospital or institutional librarian is often a great resource for learning how to undertake searches of the literature. There are also excellent online resources including the Easy guide to searching for evidence for the busy clinician available. For critical appraisal support, there many resources available, including from the University of Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (

Where to now?

The aims of Journal Club are to provide a mentored introduction to evidence-based medicine to trainees and to build a repository of reviews relevant to paediatrics and child health. The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health subjects all submissions to our usual peer review process.  Submitting a Journal Club article, even if you have received mentoring advice from one of our editors, does not mean that it will automatically be accepted for publication.  We will work hard with you to make sure it has the best chance possible of being published!  Submissions will always be reviewed by independent reviewers (not someone who has mentored you).  For published Journal Club articles we will endeavour to make as many as possible Free Access, however this is at the discretion of our publisher and not something the editorial board can guarantee.  

If you would like to discuss a Journal Club proposal or would like mentoring through the process, please email Amy Keir or Patrina Caldwell.  You can find the full Instructions to Authors here.  

JPCH Journal Club


[1]       Caldwell PH, Bennett T, Mellis C. Easy guide to searching for evidence for the busy clinician. J Paediatr Child Health. 2012; 48: 1095-1100.