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When I go through the Abstract section of a research paper and find a subject that I'm interested in, then I go through the whole paper. But going through the whole of it, takes lots of extra time getting things, that I'm already familiar with, to get familiar with other similar things, and to grasp the author's overall idea. Rather, I found, Presentation Slides very helpful to me to quickly grasp everything.

I found lots of presentation slides at slideshare.net. Are there any other site where I can get the Presentation Slide's of research papers?

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    It looks like you're asking one question in the title and another in the body of your post. You might want to clarify which one is your actual question. Mar 30, 2013 at 19:08
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    The title of your question and the actual question are quite different ... and I would say that this is a duplicate of academia.stackexchange.com/q/8200/102
    – user102
    Mar 30, 2013 at 19:08
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    Since you have two distinct questions, please separate them into two distinct posts. (Also, it's traditional to end sentences with only one period.)
    – JeffE
    Mar 30, 2013 at 19:59
  • Sometimes, somebody who has written a paper has also given a presentation on the same topic. Sometimes you can find those slides. Not every paper has associated slides, and not all slides are available. There is no central repository.
    – Flyto
    Jul 9, 2018 at 7:42

1 Answer 1

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A common problem, when you're starting to familiarize yourself with academic literature, is getting stuck on a particular detail which you don't fully understand. If you don't allow yourself to read further before you've understood the difficult bit, you may never manage to finish the paper.

The advice I've most often been given for such situations, which I would also strongly endorse from personal experience, is to set the problematic point aside (maybe making a note in the margin, if you're reading a paper copy, or the electronic equivalent if your reader supports such) and just keep reading. There are several reasons to do that:

  • The issue you got stuck on might be explained later in the paper, or it might become clear from context what the confusing part actually means.

  • If something seems wrong, it might actually be: mistakes do creep into even the best papers. Often, the errors that do slip through are the ones that more experienced readers may not even notice, since they know what the text is clearly supposed to say, and thus automatically and unconsciously correct it while reading. In such cases, reading the rest of the paper might make it clearer whether what looks like an error actually is one.

  • If you get to the end of the paper, and still feel like there's something you haven't understood, it may be clearer once you come back to it. Or, if not, you can always show the paper later to someone more familiar with the topic and ask if they can explain the issue.

  • It's also possible that, even if you never do manage to understand some detail of a paper, you may still get something else useful out of it: the detail might not actually be essential to the main conclusion of the paper.

In fact, I'd go further and suggest that, on your first pass through a paper, you shouldn't even try to understand everything in it. Just skim the paper briefly to get a general feel for how it's structured and what the authors are aiming for, maybe stopping to look at any interesting figures. Once you've done that, you can go back and read any interesting sections more carefully.

In particular, many academic papers tend to follow a general structure where the introduction describes the context and the problem, the "conclusions" section at the end describes the (proposed) solution, and everything in between just documents the (often tedious and abstruse) process of getting from one to the other. To quickly go through such papers, it's often a good idea to "eat the dessert first", skipping to the conclusions section immediately after (or even during or before) the introduction. Once you know what the authors have actually concluded, it's often much easier to follow the description of how they got there.

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    +1 for "on your first pass through a paper, you shouldn't even try to understand everything in it." I would add: or second, or third, or ever.
    – JeffE
    Mar 30, 2013 at 20:01
  • @JeffE: Why ever not?
    – Tara B
    Mar 31, 2013 at 10:24
  • @TaraB: Try to understand as much as you need to derive the rest yourself.
    – JeffE
    Apr 1, 2013 at 3:55
  • Oh. I don't really see that as not trying to understand everything in it.
    – Tara B
    Apr 1, 2013 at 13:24
  • I've actually never mentioned in my question , that I'm having difficulties understanding a research paper.I rather looked for ways to minimize the time needed to finish a paper. And I found presentation slides useful , that I also shared. Apr 2, 2013 at 12:02

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