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How often do you peruse the literature?


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I think reading a paper a day, at least on weekdays, is an excellent habit. I also regularly peruse the table of contents for numerous journals related to my research and teaching interests, even if I don't read that many articles from them.

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I read 1-2 papers a day at least. I am not that great about reading current stuff... whenever I come across papers that I want to read in the citations of other interesting papers, I put them in a Mendeley "to read" folder. I try to read a paper out of that folder every morning.

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I don't necessarily read a new journal article everyday but I'm at least browing the table of contents in the new issues of journals in my field -- I'll skim an article of some interest. (Usually I try to tackle one of the articles in my 'to-read' folder on my laptop first.)

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I've been trying to read 5 articles every morning and 5 every evening - inputting notes into a database for future reference. Not sure I will keep up this pace, but as a first year graduate student, I really feel the need to get caught up in my field and really understand the articles I'm citing. It also is already helping me develop original research ideas.

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I just basically read my sub-topic(s) on my own. The rest of the important literature will come to me through seminars, which in my discipline are extremely heavy reading. I think you need to be strategic, there is a shitload of literature in any discipline that really has no relevance or value to a lot of people in that field. 

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I read daily abstracts from my field's preprint server each morning (usually 3-4 abstracts). If there is a particularly relevant paper, I will read it and make notes (in Mendeley)--I'd say this happens about once every 2-3 weeks. I try to make notes that summarize the paper so that I don't have to read the paper again in order to cite it.

 

If there is a somewhat relevant paper, then I usually put it in my Mendeley folder, read the abstract, introduction and conclusion and make notes. I also make note of whatever method they use. For these papers, I don't make notes that summarize the paper, but instead, I make notes so that if, later on, I wanted to read more about X, I would go back and read this paper. I would say that I find papers in this category about 1-2 times per week.

 

I also skim a lot of papers that I do not save at all. I mostly do this to know what else is going on in my field and for the weekly informal "science news" discussion group we have. I probably skim ~1 paper per day. I also skim/read papers for things like group meetings or classes.

 

Finally, in addition to this, I read in depth the papers that are directly relevant to my work. It's hard to say I do this for X papers per day because it varies. When I start a new project, I might read 1-2 papers per day for the first week, and then I start spending all my time doing the calculations/analysis/work etc. so I don't read that many more papers.

 

I'm impressed by all the people that read 1 entire paper per day on a regular basis. I am not able to do this. To be honest, I don't think there is enough interesting papers out there in my field to sustain a rate of 1 paper per day! I just checked my Mendeley folder for my PhD work and there are 233 papers. I definitely have not read the majority of them in depth and some of them are only there because I needed to cite a single value from the work. I would estimate the total number of papers I've fully read (i.e more than just intro/conclusion) since starting my PhD program to be about 100 (I'm a third year PhD student), which puts me at an average of one paper every 2 weeks.

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I wish I had read more often in the beginning of my program, because it would've made the process of studying for my orals less painful, lol.

 

I don't have a concrete schedule for how often I read, but I look over the literature just about every day. I need to set up some article alerts or something for new articles in my field so I can read them.

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I've honestly started reading a lot more once I got through with my exams, just because now I'm focusing more specifically on what really interests me. It also helped that my language skills (especially German) got better, so now I can work through a lot of the foreign-language texts for my work and sub-field (I work on southeastern Europe and the Holocaust, so a great deal of the literature in my field is in German). I got better about reading secondary literature because I had to basically.

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I'm on a mailing list for Linguist List that sends a daily email of abstracts, with links, sometimes job postings. If I see one that catches my interest (since it's all languages, not always only Spanish/Hispanic or English), I will browse the abstract. 

 

Currently I'm reading a book authored by one of my undergrad professors. I'm not sure if that counts, but it has helped me develop ideas for my own research.

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I used to spend about 2 hours each morning reading literature- I don't have time for that regularity anymore, but I set aside at least one afternoon a week to peruse the ASAP articles from each of the major journals I follow.

 

I tend to read in sprees now- need to track something down, take a day, go into the literature and read a couple of dozen papers relating to it.

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