Friday, March 26, 2010

[PDF] How to read a research paper

哈佛大學教授 Michael Mitzenmacher (部落格 My Biased Coin 的作者)提供一份很棒的如何閱讀論文 (下載電子檔) 的指引和建議,並且願意提供原稿(他是用 Latex 寫的),讓大家繼續發揚改進。Mitzenmacher 教授在他的部落格還特別推薦Jason EisnerHow to Read a Technical Paper 的最後一節 What to read

What to read

  • creative web search

    • experiment with several searches
    • put yourself in an author's shoes; what phrases might they have used?
    • become a power searcher! (read the help pages for your search engine) 

  • find related work

    • backward references: follow the bibliography to earlier papers
    • forward references: see who else has cited the work (via an interface such as Google Scholar

    • has someone else already listed the right papers for you?

      • survey papers in journals (also called "review articles")
      • course syllabi
      • reading group webpages
      • chapters in textbooks
      • online tutorials
      • literature review chapters from dissertations
      • direct recommendations from friends or professors (perhaps at other institutions) 

      • breadth-first exploration

        • read a lot of abstracts (and skim the papers as needed) before deciding which papers are best to read
        • it's okay to read multiple related papers at once, flipping back and forth so that they clarify one another
        • to get a feel for the research landscape in an area, flip through the proceedings of a relevant recent workshop, conference, or special-theme journal issue 

        • when the going gets tough, switch to background reading

          • textbooks or tutorials
          • review articles
          • introductions and lit review chapters from dissertations
          • early papers that are heavily cited
          • sometimes Wikipedia

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