SFU Statistical Genetics Journal Club

Our SFU journal club is modeled on the StatGen journal club at University of Washington. Like them, we want a participatory seminar to present our own work and/or papers from the literature. This document has been adapted from their how-to.




  • Learn about each others' work and how other people think
  • Improve presentation skills
  • Provide feedback
  • Read and critique the scientific literature
  • Identify open problems
  • Broaden our scientific horizons
  • Foster interaction among people working in statistical genetics


Expectations for participants


  • Provide ideas for topics when required.
  • Read the papers, focussing on what we do understand.
  • Participate in discussions and presentations.
  • Be a relatively steady attendee
  • When it is our turn to present, volunteer to lead the discussion.
  • The long-term goal is for this to become a course; when it does, those who can should register (all students).


Information for discussion leaders


  • We often try to double-up presentations if we have enough people. The ideal is to pair together new and more experienced participants to work together. Usually a paper is too long to present everything, and so the key is to discuss the paper together ahead of time before deciding what part(s) to focus on.
  • Discussion leaders are only expected to spend ~30 minutes (jointly) presenting the assigned paper(s). If you don't understand everything, focus on what you can and try to think about what is important about the papers, and what open questions you are left with.
  • Keep the number of prepared slides to a small number (e.g. 7-10) to encourage discussion. For the non-broadcast talks, it is also fine to simply use the board.
  • Make sure you leave adequate time for discussion.


Guidelines for reading the papers


  • WHY is this question important?
  • WHAT did they do?
  • WHY did they choose this approach?
  • HOW did they do it?
  • WHY did they choose these methods?
  • WHAT should come next?
  • WHY is this the next logical step?