How to read research articles effectively

Reading an research article is always tricky. There are no standard procedures to read any research articles. But i followed one procedure where one can effectively grasp the information of the research article. First thing is select the apt paper from digital libraries such as IEEE Xplore, IET, Elsevier/ Science direct etc.

title 

Step-1

Read the ABSTRACT of the article. Abstract is main thing where one can get clear idea about what the article is going to be discussed. It will give you the glimpse of work, whether the work is implemented in hardware/software. Some research articles will be review papers where the authors will briefly discuss the proposed methodologies in the literature. So if you are going to read any research article first thing you have to check is abstract.

abstract

Step-2

Now go through CONCLUSION of the article, where the authors will discuss the proposed methodology and conclude its advantages and some authors will also discuss the limitations of their methodologies.

conclusion

Step -3

INTRODUCTION (Optional)

If you are novice to that particular research area then i recommend you to read Introduction because the information will be crisp and pin point. If one is intermediate / expert in that particular area then you can skip the introduction part or you can read at the end of the article.

Intro

Step-4

Now go through the proposed methodology / algorithm in the research article. Spend more time in this section because if you understand the methodology then there are bright chances of finding the limitations of the article once you gone through the simulation/hardware results.

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Step-5

Important step after step 4, i.e., experimental or simulation results. Spend more time in this section because this is the section you will understand the pros and cons of the proposed methodology by the author. Analyse the results rather than reading the article. If you get any doubt in the results, then you try to simulate the same algorithm in any software simulation platform tools like MATLAB, PSCAD, AUTOCAD etc. Don’t think that you are wasting time by simulating others papers. Trust me this will help you in long run.

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You can find your problems for further research at step-4 and step-5.

Don’t panic if you could not find any problem after reading one article. Read as many articles as possible, then you can find difference in your thinking. There are some chances you may get idea why can’t I use algorithm from paper-1 and algorithm from paper 62 and design an hybrid algorithm which can satisfy all the cases.

Literature survey/ review is very important like a foundation of a building. If foundation is not strong building may fall. Same applicable for research work also.

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing”Wernher von Braun

I wish you all the very best for your research work. Keep motivated and stay healthy.

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