Questions tagged [literature]

Publications that report latest research findings are collectively referred to as literature in academia.

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95
votes
9answers
52k views

Is there an affordable way for non-students to subscribe to multi-journals/archives?

As a student I had free access to thousands of scholarly articles through my universities in databases/archives such as JSTOR, EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, Econlit, PubMed, etc, etc. With no ...
90
votes
9answers
13k views

Am I reading enough of the scientific literature? Should I read for breadth or depth?

Ever since starting graduate school I've tried to make scientific reading a part of my daily ritual; I track pages read using Beeminder, and the graph doesn't lie. It keeps me honest. I aim to ...
55
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I do a literature review efficiently?

For a new project I want to compile a literature review to determine the state of the art and possible approaches to start with. Last time I adhered to the following scheme, but it felt very ...
45
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I improve the effectiveness of my literature searches?

OK, I know this is a pretty basic question but I haven't been able to come up with any really satisfactory solutions. (I have searched around on this site, but none of the related questions precisely ...
40
votes
6answers
7k views

How can I express "I can't find any papers written about this"?

I'm an undergraduate writing a paper for a philosophy course in logic. My paper is exploring a relationship between Leibniz' logic and graph theory. In writing the paper, I've found some material in ...
37
votes
3answers
25k views

How to get better at identifying research gaps?

One of the crucial skills of a scientist is to identify research gaps. Unfortunately, students rarely receive much formal training in this skill during their studies. How can one get better at ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

How to stay on top of recent literature?

When I started my Masters thesis one advice I got for getting good material to read was to subscribe to several journals' alerts system, so that I would get mails with eTOC (electronic Table of ...
26
votes
8answers
8k views

How to annotate/summarize research papers for long-term retrieval?

I am new to my field (cell biology / immunology) and I would like to ask about the best practice to annotate or summarize research articles and reviews for long-term retrieval. When I start reading ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

Subtle (and not-so-subtle) humor in scientific literature

Tonight I was scrolling through my RSS aggregator (which includes subscriptions for several journals I follow) and this abstract caught my attention. The article's title, as well as the name of the ...
23
votes
3answers
956 views

When peer reviewers are public/open, are they less likely to be critical of a manuscript?

I have been peer reviewing scholarly manuscripts for more than 10 years, and I am always concerned that the quality of my reviews might be impacted by the fact that my name is made public to authors ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

Visualization tool for paper citations

Does anyone know if there is a tool that takes a paper (pdf) and is able to produce a directed graph of the citations, and if possible take the papers that are cited and use the citations of those ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

Google Scholar vs other academic search engines

How is Google Scholar compared to other academic search engines and catalogues such as ScienceDirect, Scopus, and universities' own online catalogues--in terms of the following? comprehensiveness of ...
21
votes
2answers
461 views

Non-English literature: should we check for prior work?

How far should we go when considering the possibility that a (non spectacular, bur relevant) result has already appeared in any other language different from English? Is it safe to ignore non-English ...
19
votes
4answers
488 views

Keeping advisees aware of literature

When advising students performing research in one's group, what's the best way to make sure that they keep on top of the literature? Is it best to forward any article of interest to the student? ...
18
votes
8answers
27k views

eInk eBook reader for reading scientific PDF papers (as of 2018)

While reading lot's of papers for my Thesis, I was looking for another solution than printing important papers. So I started browsing the internets, watched tons of reviews on YouTube, etc. I ...
17
votes
3answers
321 views

Citing low quality papers (solutions) in surveys?

I sometimes find papers that aim to solve the same problem that I am working on, but these papers are of terrible quality. Some of these papers: introduce wrong solutions, re-introduce a solution ...
16
votes
3answers
674 views

How useful is it to perform a systematic literature review?

How well accepted has been (systematic) literature reviews in your research field, these days?! I come from computer science field, more specifically Software Engineering. Some professors I keep in ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there any requirement to cite recent literature in publications?

Recently I submitted my first paper to a philosophy journal and got a rejection. This is of course nothing unusual, but as someone with a STEM background, I was surprised by the reason for the ...
14
votes
8answers
5k views

What advantages do libraries offer over the internet for doing a literature survey in Mathematics or CS

Currently my literature surveys do not involve trips to the library and I am wondering if I am missing out on something important. What sort of material/knowledge can the library provide that I would ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Organizing my reading list in Mendeley

I keep publications from the literature in Mendeley for later reading on my iPad. There are many publications, so I need some sort of way of prioritizing the ones I need to read first versus the ones ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

Is it normal to not care about the current literature?

I am currently working on a research project with my PhD supervisor. The focus of this project is a sub-field that my supervisor has not previously published in and one that I am not familiar with. ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Should I cite every study that supports my point?

Suppose I'm writing a paper and at some point in the paper (e.g. the background section), I write that "Vanilla ice cream is healthier than chocolate ice cream." I search EBSCO and find check all ...
13
votes
3answers
969 views

Is there a network map of subjects and how they connect with each other?

The problem When doing a literature review at the start of a process of addressing a specific problem, it's easy to miss related material, if I don't know that it is related. The example Let's say ...
13
votes
4answers
649 views

How is literature that contains racially charged language treated in the context of academic discourse, and what is the etiquette for using it?

One of my good friends is a history professor at a local college; in order to preserve anonymity I will not specify which one, but it is a conservative Christian private school in my state. We were ...
13
votes
6answers
350 views

How to best approach literature with low information content for good retention

My question relates to a certain type of opaque pseudo-technical prose that unfortunately is so pervasive in management literature. Authors with this kind of writing style like to make completely ...
13
votes
1answer
692 views

Verifying that cited results are still current before publishing

Assume you are knee-deep in a project, going through a series of papers that are seemingly relevant to your project. You found this ~10 year old paper, which looks very promising indeed. A lot of ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

References that are not literature or qualified sources

The Duale Hochschule has published this guideline (German) (this question might be specific to the studies in Germany) and it does quite a good job explaining how literature shall be cited and put ...
10
votes
1answer
482 views

Are there differences between academic papers and industrial papers?

Are there differences between academic papers (f.e. a (conference) paper written by PhD students and/or professors) and industrial papers (f.e. a conference paper written by engineers working for a ...
10
votes
3answers
654 views

Is it better to focus on relearning mathematics fundamentals or learn material as needed to understand research papers?

I am working toward a PhD degree and my major involves lot of mathematics. The problem is that my basis of math is not very strong but after putting a lot of time I can understand the theorems, lemmas,...
10
votes
1answer
359 views

Literature review and originality

Everyday there are hundreds of papers published worldwide in every single area of study. I am mostly interested in architecture and environmental psychology. A question arises how to assure that we ...
9
votes
3answers
735 views

Where to describe the pros and cons of the related work in a paper?

I just start writing a paper. This is also my first time doing so. I have a problem describing the pros and cons of the related literature. I am not sure where I should place them. Some of the ...
9
votes
3answers
710 views

List of citation graph browsers?

What are good ways to explore/discover literature visually, e.g. a visual interface for Google Scholar? There are a few tools to explore the citation graph ("which papers cite which papers"). Some are ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Forum for discussing research paper

I am trying to implement an algorithm given in a paper. I have some questions which I would like to clear out since implementation requires complete clarity on all the concepts/algorithms/arguments ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the "chain search" method for literature search?

I am working through a tutorial about literature search, reading, and writing. It says: Chain Search: A chain search consists of finding suitable literature by letting one text lead you to the ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

How to develop your own argument in a literature review?

In a literature review, we look at recent publications and put what other researchers have said in this context. However, how can I develop my own argument? Should I write it with my own words or ...
8
votes
2answers
352 views

How to locate most important literature in an unfamiliar area

I'm a pre-doctoral researcher (does it exist?) figuring out my true interests and learning the craft. When I start exploring a new (that is, unfamiliar) area, I try to find the most influential ...
8
votes
2answers
385 views

What strategies are there for finding literature for a literature survey when the terminology used is diverse?

I want to write a literature survey on a topic, let's say it's risk of crime due to a new technology, let's say due to the Gutenberg press. However, when I search for the overall theme (crime and "...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Ideas for and approaches to adding value to literature reviews

One of the tasks in my short-to-mid-term plan is to convert my dissertation into several research papers. In this context, I was thinking about extracting my dissertation's literature review (which is ...
8
votes
4answers
405 views

Disagreeing politely

Suppose I disagree with the methods and/or conclusions of a paper published in a scientific journal, and I produce some new results that refute the claims in this paper. What would be the best way to ...
8
votes
1answer
740 views

How to 'stay up to date' in your field?

In academia, it's important to stay up to date with the latest 'hot' hypotheses in the your field. By 'hot', I mean the hypothesis that are most important/topical/relevant/popular. Perhaps the best ...
8
votes
3answers
264 views

Literature management for workgroups

We are looking for a solution to manage our literature (citations and corresponding PDFs) in our workgroup (~15 persons). Everybody should have read-write access, so a solution having a shared library ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the academic argument against Sci-Hub?

I know that some consider certain activities of Sci-hub to violate the law in some jurisdictions. Many of the previous questions and opinions related to Sci-hub have focused on these legal aspects (...
6
votes
2answers
222 views

What software do you use to keep up to date on literature, and if Google Scholar, how do you avoid information overload?

I see a lot of people use Google Scholar and ResearchGate alerts, but I find those alert systems too overwhelming to the point I get inundated and treat them like spam. Perhaps I'm not using them ...
5
votes
2answers
531 views

Why are some research papers scanned with OCR instead of actual PDF?

I have some research papers in PDF format that are actually scanned (and then OCRed) instead of being the original PDF. Some are so badly created that text cannot be properly searched inside. For ...
5
votes
4answers
404 views

Should we trust a journal article that does not cite any previous work?

My area of interest is not so well-researched in the US, but it attracts more interest in some developing countries where the topic is more relevant, but also where academic standards tend to be ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Does interdisciplinary research usually require reading/reviewing more literature?

This may be quite a difficult question to answer in general, but I suspect that the answer is "yes" as less-well-defined discipline boundaries mean having to read more to cover all bases. Can anyone ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What are "getcited.org" and "getcited.com" for?

What is the purpose of getcited.org and getcited.com? I am completely new to researching and paper publishing and I frequently get results from this site in Google Scholar Search. I am absolutely ...
5
votes
1answer
216 views

PubMed RSS Feeds

I would like to be up to date with published articles on my research topic. I saw that pubmed allow to subscribe to a research (there is an RSS link just below the research box), so I added the RSS to ...
4
votes
4answers
283 views

Colloquial forms (let's...) in articles

I am writing an article for a peer reviewed journal in the field of literature, and I am wondering about the use of colloquial expressions like: "Let's take a step back", or "Let's look at the data", "...
4
votes
2answers
126 views

How to find size of academic literature in a given discipline?

The question is related to the trend of research and focus on different disciplines. Is there some trend assesment which shows the number of articles or conferences on a specific disciplines? If ...