How to Read a Scientific Journal Article ? in Short Time Effectively.
Research articles are read by scientists, academic faculty, doctors, pharmacists, college students with aspiration for science with an interest to know recent documented happenings in science and technology.
There are thousands of scientific journals worldwide and each journal may have thousands of research articles. So when you intend to read some of them related to your subject of interest, it could be a time consuming and also tiresome effort.
To read research article is not an easy task as like reading a novel or daily news paper. It requires one to understand the complex problems and solutions addressed in the research article by science and technology used in it. So then
Why to read research articles ?
If you are into any of the professionals mentioned above or even a lay man interested in science then reading research article
♦ Helps you to find topics for research.
♦ Provides you knowledge about the advanced techniques available for evaluations or estimations used in scientific research.
♦ Also enhances your idea regrading the extent of scientific knowledge prevailing in particular areas and any further progress required.
♦ Also helps you write a research article of your own research and make some suitable citations.
All the above benefits can especially help find topics for college students, solutions for health and drug related problems to doctors, nurses and pharmacists, scope of research to the academic faculty etc.
What to read in research article ?
The advice to read research article is aimed to understand the hypothesis, the methods used to find the solutions and also how the solutions solve the query of hypothesis. Thus research articles in general have 4 important parts.
- Hypothesis in the introduction: This paves an insight of why the present study mentioned in the research article has been taken up. How previous studies addressed the related concepts which lead to present study etc.
- Materials and methods: This region of article is the core of the entire research. It indicates the effectiveness and reliability of the results obtained in the research article. If the methods and techniques used are highly sophisticated and also of latest accredited modification then the chances of results being reliable is high.
- Results: This part of article shows the results obtained using the material and methods mentioned. This part has to be read carefully to know the methods of statistics used in analysis of the results obtained by the authors and also how they try to correlate the findings as an explanation to the query in hypothesis.
- Discussion: This part highlights the research outcome based on the results obtained by the authors. There appears to be valid justification for the problem to be addressed on the basis of results.
How to read research article ?
The research articles start with a suitable title. So a glance at title informs you about what you may read in the article.
Read the abstract 1st; All the 4 aspects mentioned above can be understood by a glimpse into the abstract itself. General abstract mentions in brief the necessity for research, the methods and technique used, the result of research and final conclusion of the study. So the abstract can tell you if you need to read further or skip to save time if not suitable for your research purposes.
Introduction with hypothesis;This part of article gives you ideas of previous studies and also why present study was taken up. This helps you get further ideas for research in related areas.
Methods and techniques; In this part of article you may know how certain procedures or techniques were employed and also any new developments for analysis. So read the contents that gain your curiosity and leave the rest. Because you can always return for more in-case you use some of the methods in your future research.
Results and figs; This part may not be necessary unless you are serious to consider how the conclusion of study were drawn from them.
Discussion and conclusion; Mostly this is the lengthiest part of the article. So the idea is to leave it as much as possible and just try to focus on conclusion and how conclusion were drawn using some points of results.
Once you read the article you may need to save them in PDF format for future references. Save them in the following format.
Journal name, year of publication, title with simple fragments so as make you recognize what is inside the article.
Ex: Am.j neuroradio-2001-glutamte-excito-neuroimage.
You may also save them in different folders like for methods, Statistics, etc.
Where to find research articles
In academic libraries for especially old research articles, in search engines like Google, yahoo, bing etc, directly in journal or publication company sites like Elsevier, springier, nature etc.