The 8 steps to journal total utility

Eight simple steps to getting the most out of a journal article

  1. Be clear what you want from it: e.g. evidence in support of a particular theory, an important theoretical result, understanding of a particular concept

  2. Read the abstract

  3. Decide whether the journal meets your objective in (1)

  4. Read the introduction and conclusion

  5. Re-evaluate whether the journal meets your objective

  6. Write down important points from abstract, introduction and conclusion

  7. Decide whether to read on.

  8. If so, decide which sections to skip or skim – often articles contain complex mathematical derivations which it is not necessary to understand (normally you will use simpler models from textbooks or lecture notes).

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