Reading a Research Paper

Here is some advice that Professor Lakshmi Subramanian gave me about reading research papers. This is not general purpose advice; this is so that you can quickly get a sense of the value of a given paper for your own research needs.

  1. Read the title carefully
  2. Read the abstract carefully
    • what is the problem
    • what is their solution
    • how do they measure success
    • how is this relevant to me
  3. Read the first four paragraphs of the introduction
    • specifics of problem
    • related work
    • methodology
    • skim each subsequent paragraph more and more
  4. Read Section and Subsection titles
    • read carefully the areas where the content is novel or most relevant
  5. If enough interesting points, summarize research
    • what was novel
    • what was relevant
    • what was “wow!” worthy