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. Go through the paper again, skimming each section
  6. Go through the paper yet again, this time reading each section more carefully
  7. If enough interesting points, summarize research
    • what was novel
    • what was relevant
    • what was “wow!” worthy