Reading Scientific Papers: Part 2

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

Reading scientific papers can be such a frustrating and time consuming task. Here is part 2 of our reading scientific papers series that will help you read scientific papers like a pro.



  • Read and reread! Try skimming the paper first, going back to reread it in detail and then going over it a third time just in case you missed any details.


  • Figures are important! It might be easy to give figures a once over and not pay too much attention to them, but figures are extremely important. We should pay attention to figures not only because the author probably took a lot of time making them, but because figures show us the proof behind the results.


  • References are helpful! References can give you more information about a specific topic or area of research and help you understand the overall research topic so much better.


  • Discuss what you don’t understand in a journal club! If a paper is hard to understand, try discussing it with a journal club, peers, or mentors. Check out the journal club tab on our site to sign up for our GlamScience journal club.


  • Don’t be afraid to ask the author! If you have a question about the paper, don’t be afraid to email the author! You will be surprised at how you will expand your network when you are not afraid to reach out to authors of papers.

What are your tips for reading scientific papers? Let us know in the comments below!