... "reading research papers is like reading Shakespeare for the first time in middle school or high school. At first it seems completely incomprehensible ("people used to talk like that?!"), but with practice gets easier and easier."
Professor Pan explains how he reads an article.
How to read a journal article
Oftentimes, journal articles are written in a way that doesn’t make it very easy for the reader to follow. It can be easy to get lost in unfamiliar terms and abbreviations as well as bad organization. The only way to get better at reading articles is to read a lot of them. Here is how I read an article.
Reading in the sciences can be very different than reading a basic text for information or reading for pleasure. Reading the scientific literature, especially for the new reader, is more challenging and time-consuming than reading other texts.
Reading scientific texts challenge the reader with new concepts, technical vocabulary, and new formats. Different scientific disciplines have different terminology
Approaching a journal article, first read the abstract. Make sure you take the time to understand what to expect in the article. If the abstract is too challenging or describes an article that sounds too challenging, it is likely this is not the best article for you.
Some questions to ask yourself when reading a paper include:
What are the functions of the investigation:
How does the evidence presented contribute to the function of the investigation?
What data has been collected?
How has the data been analyzed?
What is the research design?
What are the logical links between data and findings?
How does this relate to previous findings and widely accepted theory?
What are potential sources of bias?