Here are some more details to guide Presenters in what to do. Remember there are only four tasks, and two of them are not compulsory.
1. Pick an article and a date (see calendar); 2. Ideally, contact the author (at least to let them know); 3. Prepare a short Opening Email summarising the paper and your comments. 4. Ideally, organise yourself or someone to do a Closing Email.
These guidelines unpack the options and reasons behind the tasks. You're welcome to contact us the Journal Club Managers for further help at: MFTJCManagers@googlegroups.com
The chosen article/chapter to be presented for discussion will, of course, have some relevance to the field of family therapy and systemic practice (FT and SP). Typically this will be drawn from any of the world's main English language journals of FT/SP or published books. But other publications may be appropriate too. The publication can be old as well as new. Choosing an article is a Presenter's obvious first task.
Although the full article does not need to be available or circulated to the Journal Club members, the full paper does need to be accessible enough to all continents. This is either through the actual printed journal, or on the internet.
MFTJC aims to facilitate both discussion without reading the full paper, and the much richer experience of reading the full paper as well.
For many articles, the publishers are ready and willing to make them available freely on their website for the duration of the discussion. Check this out with the MFTJC Managers rather than try to do it yourself from scratch.
If you're relying only on the reference to the printed journal (with no electronic version), then the article needs to be in a journal that will be available in appropriate libraries across the world.
The Journal Club format means that the author and editors do not have to give their permission before we proceed - as long as the presenter does include full bibliographic reference details and only uses short quotations.
However we would definitely want an author - who is one of our colleagues in the FT field - to know that we plan to be discussing his/her article/book. We very much prefer to get their interest and approval - and hopefully also to get them to join in on the discussion.
Anyway this is a presenter's second task - to email or otherwise contact the author/editor to inform them of our plans and to ask if they want to be actively involved.
Often an author's email (for contacting them) is given with their personal details on the journal article. If not, other options are an email to the editor's office to ask to forward your message to the author. Otherwise an emailed notice or request for information to an appropriate email list is likely to find someone who can advise how to contact the author.
There is no need for huge efforts to contact the author. If there is no success we can still proceed having tried.
It is best that we (the Managers) send out the reference details as far ahead as possible, and certainly by 4 days before the discussion starts in the formal Notification email. So for that early and formal notification by email (and in the Calendar) we need:
1. Your name and job title;
2. The town and country you live in the world;
3. The author's name.
4. Full bibliographic reference for the article to be discussed - year, title, name of publication, volume, pages.
5. Also (where possible) find out any existing web links to the publisher's website; however, for many articles, the MFTJC Managers will be best placed to set up this link.
The author's interest in being involved in the discussion may influence the timing of when it is arranged.
See below for format of Notification email (normally prepared by a Manager).
> Authors may be able and willing to let you/us have an electronic version of their full article for circulation in the Journal Club. They are generally the copyright holders and free to provide one for us, if they want.
> Publishers, ultimately hoping to attract more subscribers to their journals, have been keen to support the MFTJC and make a specific journal issue or article freely accessible, at least for the period of a Journal Club discussion. The MFTJC Managers might be best placed to arrange this easily.
> For Blackwells (that is, FP and JFT articles) we contact Frances Roe at <Frances.Roe@oxon.blackwellpublishing.com>). For ANZJFT, contact Stephen May at <email@example.com>. They will arrange for free web access for the period around the Journal Club discussion. Please remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and the more of us who are attracted to subscribe to the actual Journal, the better.
> Our priority is to encourage, not put off, Presenters wanting to present. So if there are any great difficulties, we suggest that Presenters do not feel they have to get an electronic version of the original article.
> Presenters should concentrate instead on a really good summary of the article in your Opening Email. However:
> Presenters who don't mind going to more trouble could ask the author for their permission to use a pdf version to send round.
> For other publications than ANZJFT, FP and JFT, presenters might (where necessary) assist the Managers to locate and find out if there are similar arrangements to Blackwells and AAP for all to read the full article online.
> In summary:
The Journal Club does not depend on full electronic or other access to an article. But:
It is really good, where possible, to have the full article freely available in electronic form as early as possible to give members the best chance of reading the whole article in advance.
The Journal Club does depend on full bibliographic detail - with whatever links there are to the internet publication.
And it does depend on Presenters making a good job of summarising the article in the Opening Email.
> The presenter's main third task is summarising the article in a clear way that does full justice to the article and highlights - even more clearly perhaps than the author him- or herself - just what core essence and flavour makes it special and significant.
> The aim of the Opening Email is to make it quick, clear and easy for the audience to understand enough and join in intelligently without needing to read the whole article.
> So the Presenter must prepare an Opening Email to start the discussion going on the Friday. Because the Opening Email is important, presenters might be wise to check with the Journal Club's managers in drafting it. It is best to draft this early enough to allow for checking it out.
> The first half of the Opening Email is the objective Summary representation of the paper. Naturally this will feature the positive aspects that make it worthy of Journal Club discussion. But the summary should be objective and not contain additional views or analysis. A formal style might be more appropriate: that is "The paper highlights . . ." and "Smith argues that . . .", rather than "Sally says . . ." - even if Sally is a close friend of yours. If it's your own paper obviously you can use "I".
> The priority is brevity - we suggest Presenters aim to keep the summary about 500 words long (600 maximum). Please note that Presenters and others can contribute much more freely and extensively in further emails after the discussion starts.
> The second half of the Opening Email is for your own Commentary - thoughts, reflections, links, critical developments etc on the paper under discussion. For scientific papers, this is where a summarised critique of the data and statistics would come. Again brevity is the key for the Commentary too (aim for another 600 words maximum, please). If "Sally" is your best friend, then calling her that might be appropriate here!
> Again, the Commentary doesn't have to be too clever, but it does need to be short - you can say lots more in another email.
> When it comes to the actual starting date, it is best that you, the Presenter, send your Opening Email as a Reply (4 days later) to the Notification email about it. We, the Managers, will have sent the official Notification 4 days earlier.
> Prepare a draft version of the Opening Email, but never send that email. Select and Copy your final text from the draft Opening Email, paste it into the email that opens up when you click on Reply to the Notification email. (If you are not clear about this, ask, or we can do it for you.)
> Replying like this to the Notification email ensures that it is properly archived on the home page. Note these points too:
Adjust the subject line to a much shorter heading (because that is what will be repeated in every subsequent email reply sent in - we don't want the repeating heading to say "Notification 3." or whatever!):
Your Opening Email should have a key subject heading like (or that begins like) these examples: 1. Siblings; or 2. Divorce. You can add a sub-heading if you like - eg ":Caan Was Right To Worry" or ":Old Time Religion Returns"
Copy in to the body of your email to repeat the reference info (for your particular article only) from the Notification email, but change the heading in the body of your email from "Notification" to read "Opening Email".
Put that at the top, before your two sections of precious text - that is, 1000 (1200 maximum) words of Summary and Commentary.
Invite people to respond straight away (with or without reading the full papers) by including a paragraph like this: MFTJC Manager's Note: Please feel free to respond to this email straight away, whether you have or have not read the full paper. That's what this Opening Email summary is meant to facilitate. Discussion will continue for 10 days from now. A Closing Email will end the discussion, or at least begin to wind it down before the next one. Tips for when you do Reply: To keep the archives in order, please alwaysclick Reply (that is, do not start a brand new email) when you reply to the Opening or any other email you are continuing from. But you can change the subjectheading to indicate a sub-topic or new direction in the discussion. // Except for a short quote to link your contribution, in your replies, it's best to delete any automatic full quotation of the content of the preceding email. // Please use links at the bottom of this email for further information and options.
> You are aiming to get your Opening Email into the world's inboxes by Friday mid-day their local time, so that the discussion can get going that weekend. But there is 20 hours difference between far East and far West. What it amounts to is that a Presenter in Europe or the Americas should deliver their Opening Email on the Thursday evening (their time), while those in (eg) Australia and NZ would send it out on Friday morning (their local time).
> So that's it really! Not a lot for a presenter to do - but there is the key bit of quality work on that poetically brief Opening Email.
> It is desirable but not essential for someone - the presenter, if not someone else suitably lined up (the author maybe) - to round off the discussion at the end by again briefly summarising the main content and themes of the discussion in a Closing Email. And that is ideally the presenter's fourth task to organise please.
For whoever prepares and sends the Notification email, the key things to note are:
1. It is a fresh new email, not a Reply to an earlier email from our Google Group. 2. The subject line follows the format: Notification No X: Presenter's Name on: Author's Name: "Short Article Title", Journal Initials.; 3. The content of the email follows the following format:
Multi FT Journal Club - Notification 0 For Discussion Beginning: 12mn GMT Fri-Sat date-date Month Presenter: Your Name, Your Job, Your town, Your country Articles by: Interesting Author Year: 2007 Title: "Fascinating Article" Reference: Your Favourite FT Journal, 0, pp12-34 URL: http://favouriteftjournal.com/author/interestingarticle.htm PDF Attachments (see at foot of email - it needs to be the very last thing in your email)
PLEASE NOTE: This Notification signals the winding up of the previous discussion - but you don't have to stop abruptly. Do NOT reply to this email. This is just the Notification of the next Journal Club discussion that starts in 4 days time. This email is to allow those who want to read the full original articles a chance to do so. Reading the original is not necessary. A further Opening Email will give you a brief summary of the article/s and of the presenter's opening comments for discussion on MFTJC. Please Reply to the Opening Email when it comes. // Please use links at the bottom of this email for further information and options.
Future Programme [Brief details of programme further ahead - to facilitate increased chance of people reading the full article]
No x, Fri-Sat date-date Month, Presenter on: Author: (Year) Article Title, Journal reference URL: http://favouriteftjournal.com/author/interestingarticle.htm
No y, Fri-Sat date-date Month, Presenter on: Author: (Year) Article Title, Journal reference URL: http://favouriteftjournal.com/author/interestingarticle.htm
No z, Fri-Sat date-date Month, Presenter on: Author: (Year) Article Title, Journal reference URL: http://favouriteftjournal.com/author/interestingarticle.htm