Background: Online journal clubs have increasingly been utilised to overcome the limitations of the traditional journal club. However, to date, no reported online journal club is available for international participation.
Objective: To present a 12-mo experience from the International Urology Journal Club, the world's first international journal club using Twitter, an online micro-blogging platform, and to demonstrate the viability and sustainability of such a journal club.
Design, setting, and participants: #urojc is an asynchronous 48-h monthly journal club moderated by the Twitter account @iurojc. The open invitation discussions focussed on papers typically published within the previous 2-4 wk. Data were obtained via third-party Twitter analysis services.
Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Outcomes analysed included number of total and new users, number of tweets, and qualitative analysis of the relevance of tweets. Analysis was undertaken using GraphPad software, Microsoft Excel, and thematic qualitative analysis.
Results and limitations: The first 12 mo saw a total of 189 unique users representing 19 countries and 6 continents. There was a mean of 39 monthly participants that included 14 first-time participants per month. The mean number of tweets per month was 195 of which 62% represented original tweets directly related to the topic of discussion and 22% represented retweets of original posts. A mean of 130 832 impressions, or reach, were created per month. The @iurojc moderator account has accumulated >1000 followers. The study is limited by potentially incomplete data extracted by third-party Twitter analysers.
Conclusions: Social media provides a potential for enormous international communication that has not been possible in the past. We believe the pioneering #urojc is both viable and sustainable. There is unlimited scope for journal clubs in other fields to follow the example of #urojc and utilise online portals to revitalise the traditional journal club while fostering international relationships.
Keywords: Education; International; Internet; Journal club; Online; Social media; Twitter; Urology.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.