How Should I Read Research Papers?
When reading research papers or articles that are related to your research work, it is important know know how to strategically read the important areas of the paper to acquire the relevant knowledge as efficiently as possible. Usually, the scope of the literature related to your research area is broad, so you need to first know how to zoom into it and only consider reading the important papers. After that, the refined list of papers is considered your literature review. So you would need an approach to efficiently consume the important information from these papers in an efficient way, while at the same time having a good strategy to take notes. It took me some time to figure out the optimal method for understanding a scientific paper and retaining the knowledge contained inside, but I believe I am now in a position to answer this issue.
COMPLETELY READ THE INTRODUCTION, NOT ONLY THE ABSTRACT. The abstract indicates if the work addresses the issues you are considering, but the introduction provides context. Often, there is some information included in a sentence or two that will point you in the right path. As a result, it is critical to read the introduction.
If you are a novice and have only recently entered the realm of scientific study, set modest goals. I agree that reading difficult fundamental scientific stuff can be mind-boggling when you’re just getting started since you won’t understand a word or make any connections. NEVER GIVE UP. If you have the luxury, seek assistance from professors or subject-matter experts. You are not required to read a full article in a single day or a few hours. Invest a reasonable amount of time and begin by reading one page every day.
Create bullet points for all you have comprehended in your own words, rather than simply copy pasting from the paper. This will not benefit in the long term. If you just replicate anything, you are likely to forget what you have learned. If you are reading the paper in sections, this practise is quite beneficial since the next time you return to it, you may read your brief summary and proceed. This manner, you will not become disoriented by the paper. Additionally, it is the first step toward mastering scientific writing, and when you attempt to write based on your expertise, you will discover precisely where you lack comprehension.
Continue reading a document if you are having difficulty comprehending a certain section. Stop and conduct some background research to see if you can deduce the solution to your difficulty. If it does not work, get assistance from an expert.
Take the data interpretations with a grain of salt. Develop your own comprehension. Frequently, studies overestimate their interpretations of data. When we are first learning to read papers, it is frequently unclear if we should accept the facts; in this situation, always speak with your classmates or lecturers and obtain an opinion. The more interactions you have with others, the more adept you will become at assessing and understanding facts on your own.
Brush up on your fundamentals from time to time using textbooks or when reading a paper, and do not presume that you recall everything from high school or university.
Acquire the ability to connect the pieces. This is the most challenging task. As long as you are unable to connect one document to another (on a specific subject of interest, of course), the papers are just discrete and do not assist you in developing your hypothesis and queries. The most effective technique to accomplish this is to retain handwritten notes on prior articles you’ve read and to review them on a regular basis. As a result, you’ll understand which topics have previously been addressed, how Science has grown over time, and what new perspectives have emerged. While writing or reading a paper, jot down any particular queries that come to mind. You may discover the solutions to their questions in following papers, which is what will keep this otherwise monotonous process of reading.