What is the Reading Science Journal Club?
The SoR|A Reading Science Journal Club is a dedicated meeting for "students" of Reading Science to discuss publications related to the Science of Reading from peer-reviewed journals. These meetings bring together experts, educators, and reading advocates to help them keep up with current Reading Science findings, exercise their critical thinking skills, and improve their presentation abilities. Here everyone is a student.
Via an online platform, participants engage in lively discussions, while critically and honestly evaluating a study's strengths and weaknesses. They take away insights on what to do—and what not to do—in their own work. They leave not only with knowledge, but with an increased ability to critically look at research as it pertains to literacy, reading, and dyslexia. They feel inspired by new findings and walk away with ideas for their own work. They leave better equipped to teach and advocate for Reading Science applications in the classroom, in school administration, and in educational policy governance.
Each Journal Club meeting will include presentations of two or three peer-reviewed articles depending on the scope of the article and discussion among the participants.
Journal Club Guidelines
Be transparent with your knowledge gaps. Presenters are not expected to understand every detail of the paper presented. Academic papers are often highly technical and it is entirely natural that parts of an article are not understood. Any presenter should be free to express which figures/derivations/results they did not understand. In fact, some of the most beneficial discussions arise when a presenter admits that they did not understand parts of a paper, and the group collectively tries to find the correct interpretation. Remember, the purpose is to increase participant and presenter knowledge. If you already know everything, then this likely isn't for you.
Everyone should participate and ask questions. To avoid people passively absorbing the presentations, everyone is welcome (and encouraged!) to ask any question, no matter how trivial it sounds. There really are no stupid questions! The meeting is an “apology-free space:” No one is allowed to apologize, either for not understanding parts of a paper or asking a question. Ineffective journal clubs lack active participation. There may be a fear of openly voicing thoughts and opinions, but the purpose is to look at the research critically not the presenter or participants.
Everything is voluntary. No one should feel obliged to present an article. However, the success of the group is dependent upon club members' willingness to prepare and present articles. It is our experience that the presenter is usually the one who gains the most benefit and learns the most, so it is highly recommended that you participate in presenting.
Presentations are casual. To minimize the workload of the presenter, extensive slide presentations are discouraged and should be limited to scrolling through the article to help the participants follow along.
A Journal Club Presenter must be registered as a SoR|A Contributor. To maintain academic integrity and to ensure the quality and appropriateness of the content presented, SoR|A will obtain more information about those who present. Request to be a Contributor here.
Articles selected for review should fall within the scope of reading science, reading instruction, dyslexia, or other pertinent topics that provide value for the SoR community. They should be chosen from a peer-reviewed academic journal. In order to maintain the academic integrity of the group, and to avoid repeating articles, they should be approved by the journal club moderator.
Journal Club Resources
Journal Club Date:
January 12, 2023
Current State of the Evidence: Examining the Effects of Orton-Gillingham Reading Interventions for Students With or at Risk for Word-Level Reading Disabilities
Elizabeth A. Stevens, Christy Austin, Clint Moore, Nancy Scammacca, Alexis N. Boucher, and Sharon Vaughn
February 22, 2021
Dr. Will Blake