Published on February 25, 2014
How to read papers A biologist’s perspective Holly H. Ganz, UC Davis
Journals publishing papers in microbial phylogenomics • Considerations that authors make when choosing where to publish • Impact Factor • Audience • open access
Learn to read critically, so you don’t just judge a book by its cover • Don’t just assume that a paper in Science is correct. • Important to learn how to judge each paper on its own merits. • And to identify what else there is to be done. What are the unanswered questions? • This is a lot of what we learn how to do in graduate school.
Article structure • What is the format for scientiﬁc papers?
Article structure • Title • Authors and Afﬁliations • Abstract • (Author summary) • Introduction • Materials and Methods • Results • Discussion • Literature Cited • Figures and Tables • Supplementary Files
Start by reading the introduction, not the abstract • The abstract contains the authors’ summary and overall conclusions of their study. • When I write a paper, I write the abstract last. • Read it last. x
As you read the introduction, ask: What big question is being asked here?
As you read the introduction, ask: What question is being asked here? Why should we care? What is the ecology of buildings? Do buildings affect human health through the microbiome?
What is the ecology of buildings? ! Environmental selection (such as …) Dispersal of microbes from a source (such as …) Other factors (such as …)
Effects of building design on the indoor microbiome ! function, form and organization
What work has been done in this ﬁeld already? What were the limitations of prior work? What needs to be done next?
How design choices inﬂuence the biogeography of indoor bacterial communities ! What speciﬁc question(s) are the authors trying to answer? Were they testing a null hypothesis? What is it? What are they going to do? Why?
The methods section • How did they attempt to answer the speciﬁc questions? • What did they do? • How/where did they collect samples? How many? • How samples stored, DNA extracted, PCR methods, sample processing, data analysis • Be sure to read supplementary info
Methods! Where? The study site
The results section • Try to summarize the results • Focus on ﬁgures and tables • Be sure to read any supplementary results • Do they provide statistical analyses, signiﬁcance values? Do graphs have error bars? Pay attention to sample sizes. • Do the results answer the speciﬁc questions? • What do you think the results mean?
The discussion section • Do the authors refer to their questions/hypotheses? • How do they interpret their results? • Can you think of any alternative interpretations? • Do the authors identify weaknesses or limitations of their study? What do you see as limitations? • What do the authors propose to do next? • What would you do next?
Finish by reading the abstract • The abstract contains the authors’ summary and overall conclusions of their study. • Does the abstract match what was said in the paper? • Does it ﬁt with your interpretation of their results? • Can also read comments (if any) from other people in the ﬁeld.
How To Read a Scientific Paper: ... Scientific papers are the heart of the science community; they're one of the major ways scientists communicate their ...
How to read a scientific paper. By Adam Ruben Jan. 20, 2016 , 3:15 PM. ... Can you imagine if mainstream magazine articles were like science papers?
How to Read a Scientific Paper BIOC/MCB 568 -- Fall 2010 John W. Little and Roy Parker--University of Arizona Back to 568 home page The main purpose of a ...
... read a scientific paper . By ... and frustrations of reading a scientific paper broadly ... reading scientific papers becomes ...
READING SCIENTIFIC PAPERS . FINDING A SUITABLE ARTICLE TO REVIEW: Bibliographic sources 1. Reference lists - Once you find a single good article ...
How to Read a Scientific Article Mary Purugganan, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org ... papers, proposals, or your thesis, but details will slip away.
Scientific papers are often structured chronologically, ... The readers of a scientific paper read the abstract for two purposes: ...
When I’m choosing papers to read, ... José Bonner and Bill Saxton for teaching me how to critically read and analyze scientific papers using this ...
Scientific papers are peer‐reviewed ... How to read a scientific paper ……………………… ... people learn to read the scientific
Resources for Finding and Accessing Scientific Papers ... tips and resources for both searching for and acquiring free copies of scientific papers to read.