Journal Club started working at Laboratory of Theoretical Physics

News, 07 April 2022

Attention to science increased during the pandemic and supported by the Year of Science and Technology in Russia resulted in many new solutions, events, and cooperation forms. The International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development takes up this baton. Two months ago, a new format of scientific news discussion appeared at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. It is the BLTP Journal Club. Six meetings were held online. On 21 March, there was the first in-person meeting.

The Club was organised for informal discussion of recent publications in peer-reviewed journals and arXiv / preprints. The Journal Club is open for discussion of all physical disciplines and will enable researchers to acquire and extend the necessary interdisciplinary knowledge. The meetings are held online and offline and contribute to the development and strengthening of cooperation between national institutes, academies, international collaborations, and scientific groups.

Anyone can give an informal presentation on a preprint in arXiv or a journal article published in the previous week. In addition, there is an opportunity to talk about older, but important results, or about the own work. The estimated presentation time for one paper is 15-30 minutes. At the end of each meeting, a discussion of the latest physics news is planned.

A BLTP senior researcher Chitta Ranjan Das (India) is the initiator and now the Chairman of the Journal Club. At the request of the editorial board of the JINR Weekly Newspaper , he commented on the beginning of the Journal Club’s work, “Scientific research, which combines several disciplines within one subject, plays an evergrowing role in the modern world. Therefore, it is important to understand nuances of interdisciplinary communication for successful cooperation. At the BLTP Journal Club’s meetings, we discuss the latest scientific literature on various topics based on short presentations of participants. I believe this format is very suitable for young scientists. It does not distract much from the main scientific direction of their intensive work. Preparing a report for a broad audience promotes the development of short and, at the same time, critical presentation of new ideas. Informal and friendly environment of meetings allows asking any questions without embarrassment. I learned about the idea of the Journal Club at Centro de Fisica Teorica de Particulas (CFTP), Instituto Superior Tecnico (IST), Tecnico (Lisbon, Portugal) where I was a postgraduate before I moved to Dubna. Almost each scientific institute in Europe has such a seminar for discussion of recent articles. There are journal clubs in Russia too. It is also a well-known fact that N. N. Bogoliubov gathered his colleagues for informal communication over tea. I thought that it would be a great idea to organise something similar.”

The Club’s Co-chairman, a BLTP employee Alexander Bednyakov noted that a group of active participants has been established despite a little number of listeners at online meetings. He believes that the Journal Club will exist and develop thanks to such people. Moreover, Alexander expressed hope that regular in-person meetings will attract more young employees and make discussions more active. Several reviews and a number of interesting ideas of the Journal Club’s participants indicated it.

A BLTP junior researcher Maxim Bezuglov made his presentation at the first in-person meeting. He noted the following, “I must say I think the Journal Club is a very useful event and I hope that more and more people will join it in the future. For me personally, as a young employee, it is important to have an opportunity to communicate with my senior colleagues in informal environment and thus join the team. Moreover, it is possible to extend your scientific outlook and get acquainted with physics fields far from my main job. The preparation process of a report is very useful. When I carefully studied the article for the presentation, I found some links to works useful for me. As a result, it allowed me to add some new important material to my future Candidate’s thesis. As suggestions, I can only say that it would be great to see more young girls at in-person meetings.”

A regular participant of the Club, a BLTP researcher Pavel Maksimov shared his impressions of the past meetings, “I represent the department of theory of condensed matter while the majority of participants represent high energy physics. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to follow the reports of colleagues. However, I think that such an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas can turn out to be very fruitful.”

Meetings of the Journal Club are held every Monday from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the Blokhintsev Hall ( 4th floor) of BLTP. The next meeting is scheduled for 11 April. A BLTP junior researcher Natalia Kolomoyets will speak about the QCD equation of state in background magnetic fields.

Those wishing to give a presentation can send an application with an arXiv preprint number or/and journal reference to journal_club@theor.jinr.ru no later than a day before the next meeting. More details about the Club on Indico.