See that stack of papers on your desk? Those ones you thought looked relevant but haven’t read yet?
Here’s how to deal with them.
It takes a long time to read every single paper in depth, so cheat.
How to cheat effectively
Not all papers are relevant or important so you don’t need to read every single one in the same level of detail.
- At first glance, make a quick judgement as to whether it might be useful to you. You might look at 30 papers and pick 10 quite quickly. Put the other 20 to one side.
- Those 10, read through once again and highlight the key points that seem important or relevant to your work.
- You can also highlight some references to look up, and repeat the process to pick out 10 more good ones
- Any papers you think are fantastic, draw a star on the front page so you can find it again quickly. These you’ll read again in more depth later.
So you’re reading fast, but not in depth. It just gives you an impression of what’s there.
If you keep repeating this process, you’ll end up with a stack of papers, all of which you know are good.
Then you can read individual papers and go into more depth.
So decide which papers are most important and relevant and put more effort into them than the rest!