In the Spring of 2014, Swapnil asked Joel if he would start a nephrology journal club in twitter. Joel was knee deep in NephMadness at the time and told Swapnil to write up a description of how the journal club would work half hoping that Swap would quickly lose interest, never finish it and that would be the end of it. However, Swap wrote that up, published it on Medium, and the first NephJC followed a few weeks later. Topf and Hiremath started the ball rolling but the journal club truly belongs to the community and everyone who contributes. In the last couple of years we have assembled a bespoke work group to advise on the direction of NephJC and to handle the myriad administrative duties that come with the project.

About NephJC

NephJC is an online medical journal club. We utilize  the nephrology (and related specialties) Twitter community to generate discussion and review current literature related to nephrology. It is open to anyone; we regularly have nephrologists, residents, fellows, cardiologists, internists, urologists, radiologists, pharmacologists, and patients contribute to the discussion. We have a static webpage, a Twitter feed, and a Facebook page.

The Mechanics

The NephJC live chat occurs in two time zones, two times a month: every other Tuesday at 9PM Eastern Time for the Americas, and the day after, at 8 PM GMT on every other Wednesday for the European community which is also 12 noon for the West coast. About 1 week before the Twitter discussion, we post background information at about the article and invite comments and questions, which will be discussed during the live chat.  The live chat is an hour-long discussion on Twitter. Make sure you include the hashtag #NephJC to ensure so everyone sees your brilliant commentary. A summary of the conversation is captured as a twitter moment (i.e., a curation of the tweets from the live chat) and the background post is updated with links to the Moment and the Twitter transcript. Questions, comments, perspective, everything is fair game.

Nothing about us without us

We try to reach out to patients with kidney disease to comment on the studies we discuss. Getting the patient perspective is too often forgotten in academic journal clubs. NephJC is trying to keep everyone involved. Read the patient commentaries.

Visual abstracts

NephJC is committed to creating visual abstracts for articles discussed. These visual abstracts of the major points of a study are becoming the way medical studies are shared on social media.

Read a good book every now and then

The NephJC Book Club is an annual tradition. Every summer we blog our way through a book of medical interest and have a Twitter-based book club discussion.

In 2015 we started the book club with Atul Gawande's, Being Mortal

In 2016 we read Eric Topol's, The Patient Will See You Now

In 2017 we read Vanessa Grubb's, Hundreds of Interlaced Fingers

In 2018 we are planning to read Siddhartha Mukherjee’s ‘The Laws of Medicine’.

Publish or perish

The NephJC work group knows something about academic medicine and we have taken to our keyboards to contribute what we have learned running a productive online medical journal club. In 2016 the NephJC work group began research and compiling a comprehensive history of the journal club. This evolved into this AJKD publication: The Evolution of the Journal Club: From Osler to Twitter.

In 2015 Swapnil and Topf contributed to an article on starting a Twitter Journal Club: 10 steps for setting up an online journal club.

In 2014 Swapnil and Topf again teamed up to discuss the origins of NephJC for a special social media issue of International Review of Psychiatry: Social media, medicine and the modern journal club.

The NephJC Team

NephJC Hosts

Anna Burgner, Dearbhla Kelly, Ben Stewart, Matt Sparks, Tom Oates, Francesco Iannuzzella, Silvi Shah, Ian Logan, Matt Graham-Brown, Scherly Leon, Michelle Rheault, Swapnil Hiremath, Joel Topf, Gates Colbert, Hector Madariaga, Bea Concepcion, Omar Taco, Cathy Quinlan, Annabel Biruete, Pablo Garcia, Maryam Khosravi

Visual Abstract Team

Joel Topf, Matt Sparks, Michelle Rheault,  Pablo Garcia, NSMC interns

NephJC curators

Hector Madariaga, Ben Stewart, Swapnil Hiremath, NSMC interns

Scientific Advisory team

F. Perry Wilson and  Laurie Tomlinson (statistics/epidemiology); Matt Sparks (animal models)

NephJC Stats intern

Manasi Bapat

NephJC Advisory team

Paul Phelan, Nikhil Shah, Edgar Lerma, Graham Abra, Raymond Hsu, Suzanne Norby, David Goldfarb, Richard McCrory, Brian Byrd

NephJC Newsletter Team

Gates Colbert, Swapnil Hiremath, Joel Topf

Learn more & connect with us

Check out the NephJC webpage.

Check out the NephJC #VisualAbstracts

Like NephJC on Facebook.

Follow @nephjc on Twitter.

Email NephJC at

Sign up for the NephJC newsletter.