Commentary or journal club paper about study by Boyan and Reichert 2011
These papers should be modeled on published scientific commentary in peer reviewed journals or
journal club style papers (e.g. http:// In your paper you will be required to
discuss the premises of the research, the methodologies used, the implications of the findings for
the field of neuroscience. Your written commentary can be an informed critique of some scientific
aspect of the paper, an alternative interpretation of the results, an idea for an additional or different
experiment, a discussion of a question raised by the research, or (if you feel you didnat understand
the paper) a coherent statement of what you didnat understand. Your commentary should (a) show
that you read the paper carefully, (b) demonstrate informed, analytical, clear and (whenever
possible) creative thought and writing, and (c) be your best writing (proper grammar and spelling,
no typographical or word processing errors, etc.). You should not summarize the article (except
perhaps in an opening sentence or two) or simply repeat its content, nor do you need to write
answers to the questions listed below. All information that is not your own should receive proper
The commentary paper should be inspired by a close reading of the assigned article(s). A close
reading of any paper reporting an experiment means asking yourself the following questions as
you read to gain an understanding of the research: 4
(These questions should serve as guideposts to making an informed commentary or critique; you
are not expected to answer them directly in your commentary).
Why was the experiment done?
What was the question asked?
What was the hypothesis?
What were the predicted results?
What was the independent variable?
What was measured?
What was the critical dependent variable?
What were the controls?
Why were these particular controls
What was the main finding?
What was the answer to the question
posed in the introduction?
Was the hypothesis confirmed?
How solid (conclusive) was the evidence?
What questions remain unanswered?
What new questions are raised by the
What would be an interesting and logical
experiment to do next?