As an undergraduate I have got into the habit of reading lots of journal articles for research. When I have an assignment to write, or an essay coming up, I hit the university journal search engine dig out stacks of journal articles about whatever it is I’m writing about. I think I’m actually fairly good at this, I tend to read and cite quite a lot of journals in each of my assignments. Probably too many actually.
Watching and listening to the assistant psychologists on the ward something has sunk in: the importance of reading journals not for the sake of research but in order to keep up with new developments in the field. When you become an assistant psychologist, and very much when you are sitting in the interview for the clinical psychology course, you will be expected to have a good knowledge of what is happening in the field, any changes to NICE guidelines, and so on. From what I can tell knowing the names of prominent psychologists really helps too.
I’m going to spend some of my tube journey into placement reading some journals instead of watching nonstop tv episodes on my laptop (it takes me up to three hours one-way if there are delays!). Reading whole journals rather than just specific articles will be a new experience! Hopefully one I find interesting! Although I have to admit I fully intend to skip some articles if I don’t find them interesting.
Talking about keeping up with journals, I found out today that some of the old Clinical Psychology Forum issues (Currently those before Sep 2010) are available for free to student members of the BPS. Even though they’re not the most recent issues (the newer ones cost a few quid each), they’re worth a read as there are some very interesting articles in there.