Hello and welcome back to Explore Bio. If you are a college student who is planning to enter the dimension of research, you must know what research paper is and how to read a research paper to make the best use of it. I am myself a researcher and I too read and write research papers. Therefore, I know the importance of knowing how to read said paper correctly. I want to help students develop a scientific and research aptitude. In this video I will share some very useful tips that will help you read research papers easily and more efficiently. Today you will learn what a research paper is, benefits of reading research paper, how and where to search for a research paper, components of a research paper, and finally some tips on reading research paper efficiently. So I insist you to watch this video till the end.
What is a Research paper?
A research paper is a citable document of any observation, experiment, hypothesis which is supported by logics or/and whose results are often reviewed critically before being published.
Benefits of writing a research paper:
You might be wondering why to read a research paper? What are the benefits of reading a research paper? So let me tell you that apart from completing your assignments and writing your thesis, the major benefits of reading research paper are: Research paper improves your knowledge and keeps you updated with the latest advancements happening in the world of science. Research paper improves your scientific vocabulary. Such a paper develops scientific aptitude in you. Good papers have been published after rigorous review by competitive scientists and professors hence, the information is more authentic. A previously existing paper may form basis for new research that you might do. You learn about the techniques and methods that others are following . You may discuss your findings and compare them with the previously done research of others. You learn how to scientifically write a paper on your own , how to make figures, tables, and cite the references used by you for that particular paper. There are thousands and thousands of research papers already existing in the online journal databases and for looking them up efficiently, two things are crucial, first, what you are looking for and second, where to look for it.
What paper are you looking for?
You must be very specific while searching a topic of any paper that you want access to. Suppose you want to search for a research paper on how the sound waves affect plants. So instead of just looking up everything about sound or everything about plants, narrow down the search and choose specific keywords which are close to what you actually need in your required papers. You may add another filter such as publication year, journal name or the author’s name. This way you will narrow down your search result to get the more specific papers. Next comes where to look for it. I know that most students and researchers just google the topic of the paper they want. But google returns a lot of data and most of it is not authenticated research. I always recommend you to read good papers that are peer reviewed and cited in index journals. Here are the few search engines that one can use to search for the research articles: google scholar, pubmed, science direct, biomed central etc. If you have never seen a research paper before, try downloading it and have a look at it once. When you look at the research paper following components may be seen: first the journal name in which it is published. next comes the publication date, then the title, and a line or two that tells what the paper is all about. Then comes the list of authors, all the researchers who have contributed in the current research paper are listed here. Affiliation tells us where the authors belonged during their research for the paper. Abstract or summary provides a brief overview of complete paper including their motive and key research outcomes. Next comes introduction, where you will find the background information about the research previously done, work in the area knowledge gap or the existing challenges which led to the current research paper.
How to read a research paper?
In the last paragraph of the introduction, glimpse of what the current paper is about is given. The next section is the material and method section which tells you how actual experiments were done , what materials, samples, chemicals and software were used what methods or techniques were followed. Next is the results section of the paper where you will see the detailed result of the experiments that were conducted, relevant figures and tables are also included. Under discussion the results of the study are compared with the previously related work, how and why such results are obtained, what the results of the paper signify etc., are discussed under the discussion conclusion where the outcomes of the research is briefly summarized in few sentences. The next section of the paper is references. All the papers referred to in this research articles whether it is mentioned in the introduction methods or the discussion is cited and details of all those papers are provided in the reference section. Acknowledgments- here funding agencies and people are acknowledged for their contribution in providing facilities, funds, material or any such help. Author and their contribution- this part tells who has done what in this research paper so now you know the parts of research paper, how to download them. Next you want to read it. Never start reading complete research paper firstly because it will take a lot of time and many of you don’t have that time or patience. You may find you have wasted a lot of time reading a research paper that was not at all useful for you. The better way to read a research paper is to follow the following sequence: check the title first for just by looking at it you get broad idea if the paper is useful to you or not. Next read the abstract summary and conclusion of the paper. These sections give an overview about the whole paper, what they did and what were the major findings in the paper. It would hardly take around five minutes to go through these sections.
If you find something interesting in the abstract, summary or the conclusion of the paper you can start reading introduction. It will develop your background about the topic and what are the previous relevant researches that has been done . While reading the introduction of the paper you will note that every previous study the paper is referring to has been given citation for it this can be extremely helpful for you you can find more relevant paper. if you want to learn more about this topic by going through those references. Next you can read the result and the discussion section check the figures and tables to understand the results better. This way you can reduce the number of papers you actually have to read so that you can have deeper and more sincere look at the whole paper, next you can check what are the materials and the methods they follow for their experiment. If you find it difficult reading a paper, slow down while reading or take a print out, use pencil or highlighter to mark the important points, note down key points on a piece of paper, find a quiet place an appropriate time that suits you to read, and have patience. At first you may need to read one paper multiple times but after reading a few papers your speed and efficiency will improve. If you still find difficulty understanding a particular portion you can definitely seek the help of your seniors, professors or the scientists.
Various great research journals such as Global Research Letters are a great option and way to help you look up research papers with the help of which you will be able to read the paper efficiently and correctly. Here, you will find a number of various research papers that are provided and made available to you in the journal.
You can very easily find the paper you are looking for here, which will help you with your own research work. With access to so many amazing research papers, you can practice and learn how to read a research paper properly and efficiently, saving both your time and resources.
I am sure this video would help you not only for reading research articles but books or any other study material too. I hope after learning about multiple benefits of reading research papers and tips on how to read a paper efficiently, you will start reading research papers and do a great research . If you want to learn how to write a research paper or how to choose a research topic for your paper,I have made separate videos on each of them. You may check the link in the description below for any research related queries.
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