Reading scientific papers is difficult, especially when you are new to a field. At our program for high school students, Future Science Leaders, we are trying to give them useful tools for their future as scientists and innovators so reading primary research papers is an obvious choice. But how to do it?
I don’t really remember how I learned to read primary papers. I remember being awed by them as an undergrad and early grad student. My supervisor dumped a stack of papers on my desk with an unreasonable (I thought) expectation of discussing them in 3 days. I was still approaching papers as facts to cram in my head and not as a bunch of connected information. I think after that marathon session, I started approaching papers as proper reference material. So, I thought we should just try reading some papers. I got some ideas from Snow and Science where he introduced reading papers to undergraduate students. This post will outline what we did and I’d love some suggestions on how to do it better next year.
Spoiler alert: students can read papers, especially when motivated.Read More