One thought on “A cynics guide to academic papers

  • November 13, 2015 at 18:16
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    LOL good one!
    The whole idea around the seriousness -and sometimes perhaps even sanctity- of a research article makes great fodder for comedy in an ever more cynical world. I enjoyed this post of yours as well as those about how to write a paper, but what is your take on how to -seriously- read a research paper? This is a topic I’m very much interested in since I believe papers aren’t novels that are supposed to always be read from top to bottom. What is your technique? Mine, for a topic I’m familiar with and/or on which I’m working, is: abstract -> results -> conclusions. If I want to reproduce or adapt a technique or method I will take it all the way to the methods section, while the introduction I only read it diagonally since I’m already sold on the premise. The amount of information available nowadays makes it really hard to go deep into every paper while staying on top of all the relevant literature. So throughout blogs I’m conducting a sort of informal survey on the research-paper-reading habits of other researchers interested in scientific literacy.
    Read you next Wednesday!

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