Doing A Literature Survey - Deepstash

Doing A Literature Survey

Doing a literature survey is a bit different than reading a single paper. 

  1. First pass: In the first pass you have to collect potentially useful papers. Find 3 to 5 recent papers. You can now continue with the usual first pass procedure. You can also skim through the references to see if the papers have any citations in common. Common citations are good candidates to include in your survey.
  2. Second pass: Vist the author's websites and see if you can find any recent work. Download the commonly cited papers. 
  3. Third pass: Try to visit the websites of the top conferences or journals.

8

STASHED IN:

185

MORE IDEAS FROM How To Read Scientific Papers

Use this only if you have to read the entire paper. 

  • Make little boxes: Surround equations, figures and tables with boxes. Do this during the first-pass. It will help to quantify how many details in terms of math equations you can expect. 
  • Highlighters: Highlighters are a great tool to mark sections in your paper and give them distinctive meanings.
  • Mindmaps: There are no strict rules in creating mind maps. This may help you to get the big picture more visually and will refresh your memory about a paper after some time has passed.

8

STASHED IN:

181

Duration: Can take up to 4-5 hours if you're a beginner(you should carefully consider if this step is worth your time). 

Activity: 

  • Read the paper in its entirety and question every detail.
  • Make the same assumptions as the authors and re-create the work from scratch. You can virtually re-implement the steps in your head or use any tools(like flowcharts) that you may deem fit.

At the end of this pass you should be an expert and know the paper’s strong and weak points. You can reconstruct the structure and explain to someone in simple language what the paper is all about.

11

STASHED IN:

186

Duration: Can take up to 1 hour. 

Activity:

  •  Read the complete paper. 
  • Ignore details such as proofs or equations. 
  • Take some notes at the margins of the paper and write down the key points.
  • Look at any type of illustration in the paper like tables and figures and see if you can spot any mistakes or discrepancies.

At the end of the second pass it can happen that you still don’t understand what you’ve just read. Maybe this is not your field of expertise or you are lacking background information. Write down what you didn't get and fill the knowledge gap later.

18

STASHED IN:

186

Goal: To get the big picture of the paper 

Duration: Less than 10 minutes.

Activity: Glancing over the following sections of paper: 

  1. Abstract
  2. Title
  3. Introduction 
  4. Conclusion

Ignore the content of section and sub-sections. 

23

STASHED IN:

189

At the end of the first pass you should be able to answer:

  • Category: What is the type of paper? Literature? Prototype?
  • Context: What other papers are related to this one? Can you connect it to something else?
  • Correctness: This is a validity measurement. Are the assumptions valid? Answer based on your hunch.
  • Contributions: Most papers have a contribution section at the beginning. Are these contributions meaningful? Are they useful? Which problems do they solve? Are these contributions novel?
  • Clarity: do you think that the paper is well written? Did you spot any grammar mistakes? Any typos?

26

STASHED IN:

188

Srinivasan Keshav describes the three-pass approach which acts as a filtering system. It is an iterative and incremental way of reading a paper. It consists of: 

  1. The First Pass: The bird's-eye view 
  2. The second pass: Grasp the content
  3. The third pass: Virtually re-implement the paper

34

STASHED IN:

203

  • Pomodoro Sessions: If you feel intimidated by the paper and lack motivation, you can use the pomodoro technique. Start a 25 minute timer without any expectations and read the paper. 
  • Feynman technique: Choose a concept you want to learn; pretend you're teaching it to someone with no prior knowledge; review your explanation and identify weak points; simplify your explanation. 

15

STASHED IN:

187

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEA

Art of Doing Research

A major problem while doing research is that we tend to forget what we've read or where did you read it. 

  1. Some people use Zettlekasten which is a note-taking system.
  2. Another system is Caplan's approach, where you highlight the sections you may need to revisit later that will contain your notes and quotes as well as your summary of the work. 

The goal is to create a map of everything, so you know where to find it again.

41

STASHED IN:

300

Research is open-ended

There's always something more to read that can potentially give you more insight. There is seldom a point that will tell you you're done.

Because research is open-ended, it can be hard to keep up It is helpful to decide upfront how much time you want to commit to research. Also, ensure making the end goal something about the information, such as writing an essay or report.

3

STASHED IN:

227

STASHED IN:

0 Comments

Problems with how we view scientific studies

The world is full of evidence and studies, some good and some poor.

  • One major problem is that scientific lingo often means something different from everyday language. Words like theory, significant, and control have entirely different meanings in the realm of science.
  • Another problem is that experiments can suffer from problems in how they're designed, how they're analysed, and how scientific journals review them.

2

STASHED IN:

97

STASHED IN:

0 Comments