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Biomedical Engineering Resources

Research Process for Health Sciences

Reading scientific and scholarly research can feel overwhelming for the novice researcher, but this guide will attempt to help you understand and evaluate an article step by step. Articles are not like books, it does not always make sense to read them from top to bottom. Rather, articles should be skimmed, looking first for key information to determine whether they make sense for your research interest, and then read in parts while pausing for reflection and evaluation. As you read through an article, consider highlighting key elements and taking notes. 

How to Read a Scientific Article
  1. Read the article's title and abstract. The abstract is a summary of the article.  Does the article have clearly outlined objectives to the research, and precise conclusions? 

  2. If the article does not have an abstract, read the conclusions or the summary at the end of the article first. 

  3. If the article is on-topic and a quality source with clear research objectives and logical conclusions, read the article beginning to end. Is there anything surprising? does the article support or refute your hypothesis

    Art of reading a journal article: Methodically and effectively