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As the new monthly issues of your favorite journals are published, we want to remind you to ask those burning questions that pop into your head as you read through novel approaches, methods and cutting edge or controversial findings. Stack Exchange consists of remarkably bright and talented researchers and our community benefits greatly from more current and relevant questions. When you flip through your favorite journal and are downright astonished by some findings or perplexed by a method, share that curiosity here.

Staying up to date in the field betters your own expertise and sharing those quandaries with your peers furthers the discipline as a whole. To encourage good ole fashioned journal reading (winks at open access) users who ask questions about the current issues of whatever journal they like on the Stack are eligible for a drawing to win a year long subscription to a journal of their choosing (excluding obscure journals only in print in Kazakhstan with a zillion dollar fee) or support to attend a conference. Before Christmas, all posts referencing (denoted with "citation") a current publication will be entered in the drawing and a random winner of all winners will be announced (plus secondary prizes).

*Tag the posts with "citation" and 'journal name/source'

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    $\begingroup$ This could have good overlap with the journal-club as well. $\endgroup$ – Andy W Nov 10 '11 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ @AndyW Yes, definitely. What do you suggest? $\endgroup$ – Seth Rogers Nov 11 '11 at 14:21
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The initial statement I made about overlap with the journal club is simply that the questions your suggesting we prompt about some of the latest technical content in the field could be proposed as journal club articles as well. What follows is my opinion, and I can not say to what extent it is representative of the community.

I don't necessarily think that having a journal club about very technical content is a good idea, nor do I necessarily think that aiming questions at the newest technical aspects of the field is a necessarily great fit within the community either. Don't get me wrong, such a question would likely be on topic, and could produce excellent responses (and have great value to the community), but that doesn't mean the community in large part will be able to partake in such a question/event.

I believe, at this point the community still needs to foster growth. This, I think, would mean we should focus on content that is inclusive to the maximum number of members of the community. I think some of the recent journal clubs we have had do this very well. They incorporate somewhat broader topics (that are applicable to wide array of research fields), and are aimed to introduce some statistical methodology. I don't doubt you need some more knowledge than an introductory stats course in college to participate, but they have been reasonable to follow along for applied researchers with some background knowledge (e.g. you don't need a PhD in mathematics or statistics to be able to follow along).

Content about highly advanced methodology does not do this. While I don't doubt many active people within the community could participate in such discussions, I'm skeptical to what extent it would happen. It isn't a trivial task to antiquate oneself with newest techniques in the field. Ultimately any technique/research methodology will have a pertinent historical context, which to fully understand would take knowledge of. It is not uncommon for me when I get introduced to a topic that it snowballs into reading another series of articles/books. I don't cozy up by the fireplace and read the latest edition of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series B for fun! (maybe other statisticians do, I don't know)

This doesn't mean we should discourage highly technical content. But I don't think having highly technical content for discussion on the site will foster it's growth at this point. IMO for the site to viable and sustainable we still need to grow.

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