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SOARD Journal Club

Launching the online SOARD Journal Club

Dedicated online forum will critically analyse SOARD publications
As of 15 October 2017, the SOARD Journal Club Facebook Page has 1,269 Members

The official journal of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) – the Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases journal – has announced the creation of a dedicated online forum which will critically analyse SOARD publications, called the SOARD Journal Club.

Announcing the launch of the SOARD Journal Club earlier this year in a paper entitled, ‘SOARD Journal Club – a Dedicated Forum for the Critical Analysis of SOARD Publications’, in the SOARD journal, the paper’s authors Mr Haris A Khwaja (Phoenix Health Bariatric Surgery Supercenter, Liverpool, UK) and Dr Richard M Peterson, (Department of General and Minimally Invasive Surgery University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, USA), explained that the SOARD Journal Club is an online forum broadcast through the social media platform Facebook, with the objective to discuss published articles from SOARD. 

“It was created as a directive of the SOARD Editor-in-Chief, Dr Harvey Sugerman. It is a closed Facebook group that was created in May 2016 by Dr Richard Peterson, Social Media Editor for SOARD and Mr James Osterhout, Director of Information and Technology at the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS),” they wrote. “Facebook was used as the communication medium for the club based on the phenomenal global success of the first social media-based surgical educational platform, the International Bariatric Club, and subsequent platforms such as the International Hernia Collaboration.”

“It was decided to start the SOARD Journal Club in order to have a discussion of interesting articles by experts in the field as well as increase the visibility of our journal,” said Dr Sugerman. “The goals of the SOARD Journal Club are to enhance knowledge of bariatric surgery and have an interesting and controversial discussion about a presented article. If you would like to sumit an article, the article/s that you prepare needs to be formally submitted through the SOARD website and please keep your presentation concise and short at the editorial board meeting."

The aim of the Journal Club is to increase awareness of published articles, foster relevant discussions on the topic and related topics to the article and improve the overall relationships of health care professionals caring for patients afflicted with the disease of obesity, Dr Peterson told Bariatric News.

Given the international appeal of and access to Facebook, this medium is seen as ideal for this type of discourse as it promotes a truly international discussion. Most of the SOARD journal discussions have occurred over a 72-hour period with critical analysis and discussion of the selected article by emerging - as well as established - leaders in bariatric and metabolic surgery throughout the world. As of 15 October 2017, the SOARD Journal Club Facebook Page has 1,269 members.


The SOARD Journal Club runs under a format by where an article is selected by the Social Media Editor for SOARD. Analysis of papers from SOARD is performed on a six-week basis and involves inviting the author/co-author to comment on the paper in conjunction with the Social Media Editor and an invited international guest moderator.

“The articles selected will be available as open access for a period of three months from the publisher and the links are provided at the onset of the discussion. All members of the ASMBS will already have access to these articles as part of the membership package,” the authors explained. “The SOARD Journal Club membership is open to all practitioners in this field and is not limited to ASMBS members. The discussions and posts are only visible by current members and are not visible by the general public. This is to encourage a lively discussion within this group and bring the collective expertise forward.”

People can go the SOARD Facebook Journal Club site and request approval to join the group. They will have to answer a few questions to establish their role in the field of bariatric surgery. If they qualify then they will be admitted to the closed group and can see all forthcoming discussions as well as review previous journal clubs. As a member of the group they will receive free access to download the selected article for 90 days.

“Given the popularity of the SOARD Journal Club, we aim to increase the frequency of journal club events as well as to discuss surgical videos submitted to SOARD,” the authors write. “Future events will also include a summary of the article given through Facebook Live by the author to supplement the analysis of the article. We believe the scholarly nature of the club will develop a surgeon’s skills in the critical analysis of scientific articles and thus will have a significant potential to improve patient care.”

To sign up to the SOARD Journal Club Facebook group, please click here

This article was edited from the original paper published in SOARD. Bariatric News would like to acknowledge the cooperation of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and the publisher of SOARD, Elsevier Inc, for their kind permission to republish parts of the original paper. To access the original paper, please click here

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