How to Read a Research Paper

Do it in three passes:

  1. 50’000 feet read. Get the big picture: read the abstract, section headings, conclusions, glance at related work.
  2. Quick pass (30-45min). Familiarise yourself with concepts and ideas. Don’t try to understand everything. Underline things that are not clear. Highlight things that are important. As you’re reading, and the current paragraph or section does not make sense anymore, skip to the next.
  3. Detailed read (1h – … ). This is the time where you must understand the details. After this reading you must have enough understanding to criticise the paper. 

More advice from: Bill GriswoldSrinivasan Keshav, Michael M.