The detailed tips for reading the literature are awesome to say the least!

A lot of the time we are bored in the lab behind closed doors, it's really better to take a little time out to look at the literature and see if others have the same confusion. Our big boss said there was no other way to get results but to read, read a lot of literature, especially abroad.

I. Sources of reading literature

The database should be studied in depth for literature databases and specialized databases . Important ones such as ISI, Medline, Ncbi, etc. Add databases to your favorites as you see fit.

Learn about institutions related to your research area, pay close attention to papers published by leading groups in that research area and direction, and study them carefully. For international leaders and labs in this research area, a little more time should be spent researching their home pages. Check the internet often to see what's new and it may inspire you in a moment.

It is important to read a few cell, nature, science regularly, don't think that you don't care about the ones that are not related to your own profession, in fact, many methods and ideas in the biomedical world are connected, nature, science on the latest methods used in your own field may be completely clear.

For magazines focused on the field you work inNO.1(《 Foreign medicine》 Each fascicle has many readable overviews in each issue, Pay attention to the albums of the core journals of your specialty、 supplement (a newspaper) , important ! ), Should be reading every article in every issue, Then it's a focused reading。 If there's not that much time, At least for each of the TITLE & ABSTRACT Should also be read。

Pay particular attention to the English references following the Chinese review article, which can be used retrospectively to find the original origins of the issue and the seminal articles.

Look up a lot of foreign literature, then look up the literature from the literature again, and so on and so forth, and your idea is unknowingly inspired. Our boss has said that when you look at the literature, what is most important, authoritative, and insightful is the literature of the literature you look up.

Read the literature and pay attention to the references listed at the back of the article, it's easy to find more literature by following the chart, and the more citations the more important! Find more articles in the field by searching for references to authors, journal listings .

II. How to find literature

1. Subject not yet determined

I am a great admirer of Prof. Pope's view that reading the literature starts with the textbook - find the issue that interests you most, look up the relevant review, you will find that some of the supposedly established ideas in the book are " speculative" in the review, and then look for the original literature and you will find that there is a lot of experimental evidence that is a preliminary exploration in conditions that were inadequate at the time. If you find such a problem, a popular idea that is not verified using the latest technology available, you go and verify it, which will have two results: confirm it, then you are verifying a very correct idea using the latest technology and giving him new evidence, which belongs to good work; you find an error in the previous one, then you find a future scientific direction and continue doing it, fixing the subject!

It is important to know what is the current state of research in the world in your field - how far you have come, and what are the key problems that need to be solved, especially for those who are looking for their own topics!

2. The subject has been decided

The first thing to do is to look for review-type articles in authoritative journals written by leading authorities in the relevant field of study. Such articles are informative and incisive, and reading them not only helps to grasp the focus and focal points of the relevant research, but also helps us to grasp the general direction and framework of the research field, which people, which universities or institutes, are stronger in which direction, etc. The next step is to read the summary in general and select the most relevant content for close reading . It is crucial to read the article closely while taking notes and markers, because a good article may be different every time you read it, and each time the notes plus the insights will help you a lot in the end to summarize it. Once again, the paper is read in general and skipped for different needs.

When I get involved in areas that are somewhat related to my profession but at a considerable distance, my general procedure for studying the relevant literature is.

a. Chinese books with a good introduction to the field (the material is usually older, if it is newer it usually brings together the main research content and results of the last 5 to 10 years), which can be read to have a comprehensive understanding of the history and recent status of the development of the field, and some specialized terminology and English words have an idea.

b. According to the content of the research through the last 3 years of Chinese journals, mainly through reading the review to understand the recent progress and some foreign published articles of the names of people and journal names, as well as the extent of domestic to do, for the application of this type of project a foundation. You can know which colleagues in China are doing this work, and if you encounter some specific details in the experiment, you can contact them, which will enable you to avoid unnecessary detours.

c. Look up foreign literature based on the specialized vocabulary, names of people and journals acquired from the above study. My experience is that if that field is distant from the original specialty, then once you come to check the literature in foreign languages often do not find good things, especially some key words are often assumed, resulting in poor search results.

I think for unfamiliar content that you want to study, such as a certain disease, then you have to first look through the Chinese textbooks to get a general understanding of that one disease, which will be helpful when you read the literature later. Then, go online and look up some Chinese reviews of relevant aspects of the topic your boss or yourself wants to do, which will sort of supplement the textbook content and also give you the possibility to touch the current frontiers in this area in China. At this point, you can start reading some foreign language reviews to see what research is going on and how it is progressing abroad. Perhaps, at this point, you will have a better idea of what you want to research. Next, it's time to read some original foreign treatises which will show you how to go about the topic you want to research. Once you have built up a certain amount of literature to read, you can start working on your topic. But never forget to keep an eye on the progress of research on the relevant content you are working on, it may provide a new addition to your topic. The last one, read the literature, number it, take notes.

For a topic that is not yet familiar with the field, first find the relevant review, the review is the fastest way to understand the field, because the textbook has a lag, and the treatise is biased to a certain point, the excellent review can be read as a textbook. The order of reading the literature, of course, is still from Chinese to foreign languages, after all, Chinese is one's native language, easy to read and understand, and easy to feel accomplished. The articles range from reviews to treatises. It usually takes an hour or two to look up a bunch of literature, compile their abstracts first, or even print them out, and based on the abstracts you can make a preliminary determination of which ones you decide to read. If you can't find it, you can send an e-mail to a foreign student, and you can usually get it. For issues you are interested in, you should not only read the original article, but also its references, and usually after a few articles deep, you will have a general idea of the issue you want to understand. The advantage of this is that you don't have to spend a lot of time looking for your argument or thesis when you go back.

III. How to read the literature

1. Take notes while reading the article

The reading notebook can be categorized into different excerpts, such as progress, research methods, experimental methods, findings, etc., and can be annotated with your own comments. For the notes should be regularly summarized: summarize what has been done in the past - to have a good idea; how far has it progressed now - to know yourself and your opponent; find the strengths and weaknesses of others from it, and predict the hot spots and development direction in the future - in order to strike accurately and find your direction and goal. We have to aim to send our results to SCI, so be selective about some of the classic statements that you mark and write down. Also, there are times when thoughts that come to mind, flashing ideas, make notes to jot them down and check them out whenever you can, and you may naturally get a new perspective over time.

2. Think hard

It's not just about knowing what someone else did, but also about what they didn't do, or whether his experiments match his conclusions, whether the data are reliable, etc. Diagram the author's entire logic, pushing it out one by one, with a pick-and-choose mentality. Read the literature with a critical eye, don't worship it blindly, do some things yourself and find out it's not so much about doing it yourself as using your brain. When reading the literature you know how to focus and find ideas, mainly to learn from other people's IDEA , that is, read the literature and ask a few questions, where the technical breakthroughs of the article are. For example, a large number of patents talk about a variety of separation methods, the key is not to look at what it does first and then what it does second, but to think about what the basis of the separation method is, why people thought of this method, and whether there are other aspects of the physical properties that can be used as the basis of the separation.

Talking to more people is an excellent way to improve yourself. Talk to your mentor about your ideas and share what you each know about research advances in a particular direction in your field; talking to cows in related directions can be much more enlightening than reading the literature. Not only do you talk to the bulls in your field, but you also take the opportunity to talk to the bulls in other fields, and a word from the bulls is sometimes more than you can read in half a year's worth of books. Especially if it's a bull in another field, he might just give you a golden idea, especially in China, where bull people are generally not very conservative to outsiders. Group discussions are very essential, get a few like-minded people together, everyone has a copy of the literature, each person divides up the work of reading different literature, and then everyone sits down together, opens up in order, and discusses it with each other. Does this increase the volume of literature by the Nth power!

3. Comparative reading

Papers with opposing viewpoints can be read with reference to savor both sides of the argument. There are also other expert reviews published at the same time as the original, and reader queries after the original was published, which should be read alongside the original and compared to see where you fall short.

The most interesting thing about reading papers is finding " two drafts in one". What I mean is that quite a few authors have written different papers on the same scientific data on similar topics, or have built on the previous ones. At this point, if your subject is similar to this, your luck is on the line. This is because it is possible to compare in depth the similarities and differences between these articles to discover the different views of the authors (or scientific teams) on the same set of data, the evolution of their thinking, or to discover the "real" method that the authors intended to hide. It was after analyzing similar experiments by the same research group that I quickly identified the key reasons for my own experimental failure and successfully completed the animal model in a short time, laying the foundation for further experiments.

Those who are technical have to be good at comparing and finding out, and it is impossible to report all the main points in some highly technical literature, as it is in Chinese and as it is in English. For example, if there are many Samples in a patent, and each one has different conditions or formulations, it is important to compare several similar documents to see what they have in common, and this is still something to keep in mind in the pharmaceutical and surfactant industries.

Comprehensive reference to foreign literature. It must be clear that there are also some untrustworthy articles in the foreign literature ; Another phenomenon is that he will omit the key things about the focus, and sometimes some details he will not write. The problem is that each omits different keys and details , and you can find out from the comparison the lineage of their research and the crux of the problem.

4. Single-article reading order and focus

Order of reading the paper: 1. Abstract, citations, key information cited, background of the study; 2. Graphs and charts for key data and explanations; 3. Discussion and conclusion, linking the chart to the conclusion and judging the appropriateness of the conclusion based on the chart; and 4. Results, read the results in detail to see how the data was obtained and how it was analyzed; and 5. Materials and methods, read the materials and experimental methods in detail to see how the experiment was conducted; 6. Discussion and results to further grasp the paper, noting the discussion about how the results obtained from this paper can be interpreted from known knowledge and research. Also for the large number of diagrams in the paper, when you are able to redraw the diagram and interpret the diagram in your own words, you have shown that you have read and understood it.

The most important parts of a paper are, in order : figures, discussion, textual results, and methods. Nowadays, journals in the life sciences are very demanding in terms of graphs and charts, which must be read only to grasp the methods and results of the article, and then combined with the reader's own prior knowledge, they will probably know the implication. This is in line with the modern need to grasp the most necessary information in the shortest possible time. Therefore, after a period of work in a particular field, it is sufficient to look at the abstracts, figures and graphs of articles obtained from regular surveys, and then look at the discussion, textual results and methods for individual articles involving new methods or groundbreaking results. This also prompts us to focus on charts and their explanatory text to visualize and maximize information when writing foreign language essays.

Areas that you are familiar with: the most economical is to just read the abstract, because relying on background knowledge you can roughly outline the content of the article through the abstract, but sometimes this is not enough, and the relatively economical way is to read the abstract in detail, skim the introduction, then look at the figures in the results, and finally read the discussion section that interests you. But if the article makes sense to you, it's time to read through the whole thing.

For example, in the topic search phase, the focus is on reading the discussion and conclusions and outlook; in the topic design phase, the main focus is on materials and methods. If you just need to get a feel for the idea of the study, you can select the abstract and the citations and conclusions for a general reading. My personal experience is to try to grasp the authors' research ideas, followed by learning their analytical approach, and finally learning writing techniques, writing language format, etc.

The discussion section of the article is really important, and if you have a little more time, it is recommended to study and imitate the discussion section of the paper of the cowboy. Different people may see and analyze the same data differently, and the trend analysis of the charts and the combination of arguments are all very much a part of the meritocracy. Our boss often says: if a certain SCI-level article is written by us rookies, it may be very difficult to send the domestic core.

I think the most important thing is to understand the essence of the discussion, which is the key part of the author's idea innovativeness and the comparison with the old experimental results, which can show the author's thinking in designing this experiment, and after making the comparison, it will be very enlightening for your own topic.

In addition to the content of the article, but also to learn the method and format of other people's writing, such as the same point of view, others may be expressed very authentic, the same a chart, others do a beautiful, especially foreigners' articles. So for foreigners to submit a manuscript, people's comments require that the text is easy to understand, with a certain degree of popular science, even if people who are not specialized in this field, can also generally understand; then also requires more simple sentences, can use simple sentences to explain the problem, do not use compound sentences, in the same sentence, it is best not to let the same word or phrase repeatedly appear ..... The last point I would like to make is that paying attention to the mutual proof of Chinese and foreign languages, paying attention to the translation of some specialized vocabulary, and paying attention to the appropriate and concise use of words will, over time, be of great benefit to improving your foreign language skills.

5. The importance of literature tracking

In this age of information, there are often times when your idea is not coincidental, so pay special attention to the latest trends in the field. While grasping to make yourself productive, always adjust to the possibility of " crashing" and be aware of it.The articles related to your own topic must be tracked diligently. Nowadays, foreign research is done fast and beautifully, and we can make new things with our strengths and weaknesses in mind. Get to know the institutions related to your field of study, and pay close attention to the papers published by the top groups (research groups and cattlemen) in that field of study and direction. For databases with fixed topics and terms search regularly, so as to ensure that you do not leave behind any important piece of literature, the literature should always be closely integrated with your own direction for the direction !

6. Implementation of the identified topics

Get a general direction.

Checking relevant Chinese reviews to see who or which unit is doing the content in China.

Look up foreign language reviews and compare them - after all, foreign languages may be a bit more detailed - to see what people are interested in.

Checking the more critical references, noting the authority of the journal and author, number of citations.

Re-examine the relevant full text, noting the methodology and technical lines of research and what problems exist in the discussion.

Consider what I can do and how I can do it, based on the financial and local technical resources that I can control.

Further tightening the scope, there is a framework diagram.

The framework diagram is then further checked against the original foreign language for details.

Experimental ideas should always precede experiments, and it's always right to think about everything before you do it!

More effort must be put into the design of the experimental protocol and the details of the experiments, and the most sophisticated laboratory techniques must be used. For some experiments that you have not done, you must understand the principles, and then start, do not be blind. Some experiments can be considered collaborative if you have difficulties in your own lab, because it is impossible for one person to do everything in a short time. What I've learned is that sometimes you just need to ask for advice.

Source: Smallwoods

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