Learning to read papers is an important skill. A few tips:
- Skimming does not work; reading just the abstract does not work.
- Reading a scientific paper takes a long time (≥ 2 hours, usually more, even for me). If you are frustrated trying to figure out what the experiment was, this is normal, it just takes a long time. Reading a scientific paper is more like solving a puzzle than it is like reading a novel. Until you figure all this out, you have not understood the paper.
- A key skill: what can you skip?
- Our strategy in this class: You will struggle for hours on your own first, then post your responses, then work with fellow students, then discuss in class.