How to read paper?

It is the most obvious thing, isn’t it? Interestingly, I stumbled on this paper on how to read paper 🙂 I have highlighted it (as usual) and extracted the key points.

The essential 5Cs of paper reading and then being able to answer the following:

  • Category
  • Context
  • Correctness
  • Contributions
  • Clarity

    Learning to efficiently read a paper is critical but rarely taught skill.

This paper describes the ‘three-pass’ approach and its use in doing a literature survey.

The key idea is that you should read the paper in up to three passes, instead of starting at the beginning and ploughing your way to the end.

The first pass gives you a general idea about the paper. The second pass lets you grasp the paper’s content, but not its details. The third pass helps you understand the paper in depth.

Literature survey works similarly.

I prefer to use LiquidText for active reading instead. Needless to say- selecting the paper to annotate is a big decision. Almost all the papers and the blog posts need to be understood in the proper context. It is not the parts but the overall sum that is important.

(That’s why Seminars in Radiation Oncology remains my all-time favourite journal. It’s part opinion, part thought process of the actual practitioners and each issue does a deep dive in the topic to explore the nuances. I prefer to refer to them each time instead of textbooks because of the depth of coverage).


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