The use of a virtual journal club to promote cross-cultural learning in the reproductive sciences

Francesca E. Duncan*, Raquel Romar, Joaquín Gadea, Dana Kimelman, Harlan D. Wallach, Teresa K. Woodruff, Maria Jiménez-Movilla*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose Scientific literacy and communication are critical skills in the biological sciences. Journal clubs, in which peer-reviewed academic literature is discussed, are traditionally used to teach students to evaluate the literature, review scientific findings, and learn about historical, controversial, or current topics. Methods We used a virtual journal club to facilitate the international interaction between two universities with master’s degree programs in the reproductive sciences: the University of Murcia (Spain) and Northwestern University (USA). The virtual journal club occurred over a 2-hour period and was held using Blue Jeans Conferencing Service software and involved a total of 29 students. During this event, the students who were separated physically by thousands of miles discussed and exchanged ideas about a high-impact publication in real time. A survey assessment was administered to students at the University of Murcia following the event. Results Positive perceptions included the establishment of cross-institutional interactions and the ability to practice scientific communication in another language. Areas noted for improvement included preparation time and engagement opportunities. Conclusion Overall, the virtual journal club is an innovative technology that can easily be broadened and has the potential to foster collaboration, ameliorate multilingual communication, improve cultural competencies, and expand professional global networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2141-2147
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Journal club
  • Reproduction
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Developmental Biology


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