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October 21, 2011

Reading research papers – by Faisal

Hi, As researchers we all know the importance of reading latest research paper from top notch journals. This gives us an idea on trends and latest developments in our research domain. For us there is no specified book, and journal papers are the best source of information and learning. Books are somewhat helpful, but journal papers provide a better means of knowing the current research work. There are few things about reading a research paper that I would like to mention here. Reason being that all new PhD students can benefit from it. One thing to note is that conference paper are easy to understand but do not provide complete information, while journal papers are hard to understand but provide detailed information.

Once you read a journal paper and if you do not understand most part of it, then there is no need to worry because as you are making a fresh start in the research field its hard to grasp concept written on few pages by experts. The thing is you have to read the paper 3-4 or even more time to understand it better. Even if you can comprehend 70% of the paper after reading several times, that it good enough. Next you should look in the references especially where the authors have referred other papers to read so that you can make a proper understanding of the journal paper. Finally if you can not implement the method in the paper then do not worry, you get a concept and its limitations that can prove vital for your research.

In the end if you can not understand anything even after reading several times then find another paper to read :-) lol.

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