How To Read Scientific Articles

13 Nov

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The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

I have been largely ignoring a rather important aspect of my field for some time now and it’s finally come back bite me in the ass. Yes my friends, I’m talking about the ability to read, digest, and understand scholarly journal articles. I’ve gotten by through undergrad with reading and not really getting things. Now with grad school less than two months away, I find myself deathly afraid at the thought of being asked to read journals articles again. Pants-wetting afraid people.

So apparently you don’t read them like a book. Huh…

After some serious research, and by that I mean a cursory Google search, I found a number of sites that had rather helpful suggestions for reading articles. The most shocking thing I read was that I was reading them the wrong way. So I missed the memo that the ordering of the articles in the journals are not really the best way to read them for comprehension. Huh…that begs the question then about why they even bother putting the articles in the order they do. Editors. (rolls eyes) Anyone know why articles are kept the way they are, even if almost no one reads them the way they’re presented?


Now that my brain has been properly trained to read around the garbage in journal articles, and should no longer feel the need to do things the hard way, maybe I can choke down an article or two without falling asleep. Whatda’ya say brain? We’ll start off nice and slowly and ease into the harder, longer, deeper, faster….whoa! That could have gone to strange places. Well, hopefully there’ll be a revival of the “interesting journal articles” posts around here now.

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Posted by on November 13, 2010 in Grad School, Interesting Articles


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