Journal Club - Fall Term 2010

The Journal Club takes place every Tuesday during term, from 11:15-12:00, in the seminar room of the Zoological Institute (Vesalgasse 1, first floor). For questions regarding this seminar please contact Walter Salzburger or the corresponding moderator. The preliminary discussion (Vorbesprechung) for this course takes place on Tuesday, September 28th, at 11:15 in the seminar room (see above).

Date Paper Moderator Presenter
2010-09-28 preliminary discussion W. Salzburger -
2010-10-05 Barrett et al. (2008), Science W. Salzburger -
2010-10-12 Altermatt and Ebert (2008) W. Salzburger Melanie
2010-10-19 Pulido and Berthold (2010) W. Salzburger Nicolas
2010-10-26 McCallum (2008) L. Baldo and H. Gante Nadja
2010-11-02 Tan et al. (2009) W. Salzburger Tobias
2010-11-09 Manier et al. (2010) W. Salzburger Micha
2010-11-16 Bilde et al. (2009) D. Berner Roberto
2010-11-23 Cameron et al. (2003) W. Salzburger Laura
2010-12-07 Nowak et al. (2010) correspondence Okasha (2010) W. Salzburger Cesar

How it works:

The way the course works is that every time we meet one of the participants will present a scientific paper from primary literature. He or she will give a short overview (max. 15 minutes) of the content of the paper with special attention to: background for understanding the question at hand, experimental approaches and details, results and conclusions as well as evaluation of the merits/shortcomings of the research. The other participants should have read the paper in order to engage in discussion afterwards.

In order to receive the 2 KPs for this course the participants have to present a paper during the Seminar and write a short (about 2-3 pages) summary of the article, focussing on the following aspects:

(1) Background - What do we know ?
(2) Question - What was the question tackled by researchers in this paper?
(3) Material and Methods - What was the main experimental approach?
(4) Results and Discussion - What are the main results and conclusions presented in the paper?
(5) Group Discussion Summary - Did we agree with the conclusions? What did we learn? What was good and what would we do different? What would be interesting subsequent experiments?

The presenter is basically free to select any paper he would like to discuss with the limitation that the paper be focussed on the general field of evolution and that it be from a peer-reviewed journal. The paper should not be too old and shorter papers with a simple message are preferable. The presenter has to announce the selected paper and send me ( (after 9. March to Walter Salzburger) a copy of the paper (pdf, print out, or link) at least a week before the presentation. The pdf document will be provided on this website and can be downloaded by clicking on the title. Al discussions wil be in English.


The Journal Club allows you to learn an important skill for a scientist, namely to critically evaluate publications in the primary scientific literature. Why is a study interesting? Is it experimentally well performed and analyzed correctly? Are the conclusions justified or do the authors over-interpret their findings? Questions such as these are often not easy to answer for beginning scientists, but they will guide us to a better understanding of the studies and developing a scientific sensitivity.

I am looking forward to welcoming you to an interesting Journal Club!

Previous Journal Clubs: