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Reading research papers - How to Read a Scientific Paper

Make sure to read the accompanying figure legend so you know what all the variables are, and refer back to the methods if you re unsure of how the data was collected. More often than not, those articles grab the biggest finding and speculate on what it might mean a decade into the future, which often falls short of explaining the study in context and helping readers form an educated understanding of what the scientific research actually showed.

This memory is supported by the fixed relationship between an item and its position on a given page.


1983 Frame repetition rate for flicker-free viewing of bright VDU screens.


Reading a single paper may take you a very long time at first, but be patient with yourself. Subjects again read consistently faster from paper compared to both other presentation media, which did not differ significantly from each other. A major shortcoming of the studies by Gould et al is that they only address limited outcome variables speed and accuracy.


You ll receive free e-mail news updates each time a new story is published. In other cases, I use Google searches to define terms and concepts in the paper or read the cited references to better understand the points being made. You re likely to find that reading and understanding a scientific paper is an iterative process read, look things up, re-read, etc. Bibliophiles have lamented the death of bookshops due to eReaders, but eReaders can encourage reading in new ways.


- Nosek I especially get overwhelmed if it s not in my subfield, if it s long, and if it s full of technical jargon. But I am a little bit confused how to distinguish SPECIFIC QUESTION from BIG QUESTION. Next you will want to examine the findings for explanations of the significance of the results. Tip g oogle Discovery Institute to see why you don t want to use it as a scientific authority on evolutionary theory.

Before you begin reading, take note of the authors and their institutional affiliations. Scientific papers contain the most up-to-date information about a field. But even if some government somewhere was able to shut down Sci-Hub, that the 50 million stolen papers have already been copied many times, presumably stored somewhere on the dark web. 1989 The effect of window size on reading and manipulating electronic text. Reputable biomedical journals will be indexed by. Structured plain language summaries of primary research would be very helpful rather than individuals having to teach themselves how to read and understand a scientific paper which is written for other scientists in unreadable goggledygook.


You don t need to understand the methods in enough detail to replicate the experiment that s something reviewers have to do but you re not ready to move on to the results until you can explain the basics of the methods to someone else. They went on to make similar decisions when they read the corresponding whole submissions.


This work will not be reviewed here as much of it remains unreplicated on VDUs and evidence suggests that, even when such factors are held constant, reading differences between the two presentation media remain see for example Creed et al, 1987.


You may find an article actually focuses on education policy rather than techniques or one that uses survey data rather than observations.


1 Scrolling versus paging The manner in which a reader moves through a document is distinctly different in either medium and even within the electronic medium, various techniques are employed for displaying sections of the text. deputy head of the HIV Lab at the Burnet Institute and adjunct research fellow in the Department of Infectious Disease at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia What I choose to read is based on relation to my research areas and things that are generating lots of interest and discussion because they are driving the way we do psychology, or science more widely, in new directions.

On balance it appears that any explanation of these results must be based on the interactive effects of several of the variables outlined in the previous sections.


, searching a large book for a non-indexed term or several volumes of journals for references to a concept. Dharma Platform Aid organizations have been piloting a nimble approach to cut through the fog of war. Has the study been conducted on 10 people, or 10,000 people?


Most obviously, it might be assumed that increased experience in reading from computers would reduce the performance deficits. Sometimes I start by skimming through to see how much might be relevant. I also always look at plots figures, as they help me get a first impression of a paper. 2015 Journal of the European Ceramic Society, 36 5. But do spend time writing down hard-won bits of understanding They don t say this, but equation 2 is basically the same as the method of Pookie 2001, except that they add a step after the data pur e.- The Washington Post Who s reading millions of stolen research papers on the outlaw website Sci-Hub? Others prefer to go straight to the figures for an in-depth look at the Results, while others are satisfied to read the presented in the Discussion.

Loud noises, poor lighting and numerous distractions will not help provide an enjoyable reading experience, and are likely to lead to frustration.


Articles are available for free six months after they are published. Once you understand why the research has been performed, move to the Results section and examine the figures. I read discussion, if I find something interesting, I might go back to the results methods. Which parts to focus on So do you really have to read the whole paper carefully on your second pass? New articles for every class and she never ran out. As with the basic ergonomic issues reviewed earlier the interaction of several of these variables is likely to be crucial.

However a closer look at the experiment is revealing. and 2013 In MRS Fall Meeting 2012, 25-30 Nov 2012, Boston, MA. Without evidence to the contrary though, it would seem as if reading from VDUs does not negatively affect comprehension rates though it may affect the speed with which readers can attain a given level of comprehension. While a number of studies have been carried out which failed to report accuracy differences between VDUs and paper e. You will want to turn this practiced critical eye on yourself as you plan, execute, and write up your own research.

In experimental investigations of reading from screens the term accuracy has several meanings too though it most commonly refers to an individual s ability to identify errors in a proofreading exercise. In of the most influential primary research papers by AltMetric, 42 were open access and 58 were paywalled. How to Read and Understand a Scientific Paper A Step-by-Step Guide for Non-Scientists To form a truly educated opinion on a scientific subject, you need to become familiar with current research in that field. First read the abstract, the introduction and the conclusion and look through the references. Verbal protocols have been effectively used by researchers to gain information on reading strategies see e. The open access arm of the, which publishes roughly 70 journals. The usual form for search specification is Boolean, i.

Experimental comparisons of reading from paper and screen are then reviewed these are grouped according to the variables they manipulated sections 7 and 8. They highlight the importance of readers acquiring familiarity with a system and the concept of the electronic book in order to accrue the benefits of such facilities., and 2013 Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 1 44.

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