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Guidelines for #radonc Journal Club in 2020

January 13, 2020

Bringing Back #radonc Journal Club on Twitter

After a hiatus, we are excited to announce restarting #radonc journal club on Twitter!

From 2014-2017, we had almost monthly discussions on cancer research with our last being September 2018. Thanks to Dr. Hina Saeed, we are back! The radiation oncology community on Twitter has grown remarkably the past two years. Participating in an interactive journal club is an excellent way to learn about radiation medicine from colleagues globally.

1. Understanding how to participate with #radonc #jc

The hashtag #radonc is much more active now compared to when we started in 2014. As a result, we have to use two hashtags to run the journal club. Using two hashtags permits #radonc users to see the journal club, but journal club participants can keep out ‘noise’ in the conversation because two hashtags filter it out.

If we used #radoncJC, it would be unique but wouldn’t be easy to find on Twitter. It wouldn’t be visible to others looking at #radonc.

2. Before the Journal Club

Our goal is to make the article for journal club free, even if only temporarily, so you can read in advance or during the #radonc journal club. We will try to post a link in the blog post so you can access beforehand. If you have problems, please let us know so we can fix it early.

Think of the hashtag stream as a sort of interactive radio station. If you don’t tweet with the #radonc #jc in the text, others don’t hear it. Using the tag allows other people interested in radiation oncology to discover you. It’s a great way to connect in general, but essential for a tweet chat to function.

A. Decide if you want to use multiple windows in Twitter or the tool Tweetdeck.

Option 1 = Keep one browser window each for #radonc and Notifications (click links to open)

  • #radonc #jc lets you see the active conversation
  • Notifications make sure you see who’s mentioning, talking to you
  • One for your home Twitter page to enter a quick response

Option 2 = Tweetdeck

  • Twitter’s system for chats, sometimes quicker responsiveness than the main website
  • Requires a little setup
    • On left hand of page, enter #radonc into search box
    • In the window that pops up, select “Add Column”
    • On left hand of page, hit the + symbol, then add Notifications as a column
    • On left hand of page, hit the + symbol, then add Home, Messages to have available in Tweetdeck too

Option 3 = 3rd party tool

  • Hootsuite, Tweetchat, Twubs are some alternative 3rd party software you can link to your Twitter account

B. Find others in the #radonc community in advance

I have made a Twitter list for #radonc. It is meant to be inclusive but non-commercial. Please let me know if want me to add you to the list.

3. When the #radonc Chat Starts

For people to see your tweets in the live stream, you have to include #radonc #jc somewhere in the tweet. Otherwise only your followers will see it. Think of the hashtag stream as a sort of interactive radio station. If you don’t use #radonc frequency, others don’t hear it. Using the tag allows other people interested in radiation oncology to discover you. It’s a great way to connect in general, but essential for a tweet chat to function.

A. Asynchronous chat

By tapping into the #radonc #jc tag’s ‘All Tweets’ at this link, you can see what others around the world are saying. It may not be real-time but you can respond to them, and it will show up under their ‘Notifications’ tab. The asynchronous chat means anyone can comment and share whenever following the #radonc stream from Friday until Sunday 8PM Central Standard Time.

Willing authors/discussants ideally join during the asynchronous chat, but the prime focus is their participation for the live hour. In my opinion, authors get more out of more engagement to highlight their research, but I can’t ask someone to be online the entire time.

B. Live Chat

The idea is that it’s more interactive like a real conversation. Many use the analogy of a cocktail party: network, banter, discuss important topics of the day. So how does that work on Twitter?

Discussing academic topics is a little different. Most chats I participate in leave 5-10 minutes to chat, socialize, then start structured questions around the #radonc journal club article.

Usually there are four general questions to structure the chat, sometimes with a side question built in. Answers are for the author/discussant but also for other participants. Each question usually includes Q1 or T1 for first question/topic to help curate it and allow readers to follow different simultaneous conversation threads.

Chat Etiquette

Keep in mind we will have the study author joining us. If chatter becomes a distraction from the main conversation, the chat moderators may politely ask that we focus on the topic at hand. If you want to chat with someone out of the journal club conversation, you can always leave the double hashtag out of your tweet. Then it’s not in the chat stream. Do keep in mind that regardless of whether it’s in #radonc #jc or not, all tweets are public domain.

There are a whole bunch of abbreviations to learn. The etiquette for Twitter is abbreviated attribution of your sources. Here are the big ones:

RT = retweet.  Not radiation therapy! This is when you share the message unchanged.

MT = modified tweet.  It’s fine to edit a tweet to fit if you don’t change its substance. But acknowledge it’s your change.

HT = heard through/hat tip   You share something directly but acknowledge someone else gave you the idea/content.

Be aware that patients, caregivers, and other health professionals can join in too. Part of the goal is improving education about radiation oncology beyond the specialty, so non-‘experts’ that participate according to the rules/etiquette are welcomed.

Remember to inclue #radonc #jc in your tweets if you want people to see them!

Conflicts of Interest

If we are discussing a topic for which you may have a financial conflict of interest that’s no problem, but transparency is important. Please share it during the discussion.

Any questions? Please ask in the comment section so we can help others.

How to be professional online

I’m not sure whether it works for everyone, but I gave a talk for Massachusetts Medical Society resident/fellows talk on being professional and another at ASCO on using it safely.

Future Directions

It’s my hope that we may be able to eventually work toward offering CME (continuing medical education) or CPD (continuing professional development) credits. We will need organizations to help us. But Mayo Clinic now recognizes social media activity toward academic advancement. Stay tuned!

Let us know what you think works best to still capture global discussion. If you have questions about the #radonc journal club guidelines, let me know. The community’s needs change as we grow, so #radonc is open to any feedback!

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