When reading an article, you will often come across some jargon or scientific terms that are not familiar. This is totally normal!

Usually, these technical words are used once in the article, and then immediately defined for your convenience. By doing this, it helps you understand the article better as you now have definitions of those important terms.

However, looking up each term after the article can be time consuming if you are not careful. That is why there is another way to do it: use our free online tool to check what those keywords mean.

We have compiled an easy-to-use dictionary which contains links to the definition and examples of every term, made by professional researchers. All you need to do is enter the keyword in the search bar at DictionaryBox.com and hit “Give me the meaning”.

It will take only a couple minutes to get all the information you want.

Make a list of topics and questions

how to research scientific articles

Now that you have determined which journal article is relevant, it’s time to do some research!

Start by picking one topic at a time and reading through the article, then answering its question or asking new ones.

As with any area of study, there are sometimes more advanced concepts for this topic. By adding these ideas into your understanding, you will master the concept even better.

Research your list of topics and questions

how to research scientific articles

After you have determined how to research studies, the next step is to actually do it! There are many ways to approach this. You can use Google as a starting point and see what comes up.

There are several great websites that offer free content to be studied and revised. This helps you get rid of some of the stigma about academic studying by doing it in your own time frame and style.

By using these sites, you will want to make sure you are not looking at paid versions or advertising products. Some sites may even allow you to create an account so you can access all their material freely.

Google is one of the best resources for beginning students because most people have done extensive keyword searching before. Starting from there makes sense since you are already familiar with the process.

Look for a journal with a high reputation

how to research scientific articles

As mentioned earlier, using an academic journal as your source of information can be very helpful. Make sure to look for articles written by authors with at least a MSc or PhD degree along with professional experience in their field.

Academic journals are not only sources of knowledge but also keep up to date with what’s happening in the field. This is important because most scientists have access to this article!

By reading through an academic journal, you will gain insight into the theories and concepts that experts agree upon. You can use these ideas to make your own conclusions about whether certain treatments work and/or are effective for your condition.

Read the article critically

how to research scientific articles

It is very important to read an article critically. Make sure to evaluate whether the article was written well, if it makes a solid argument, and if its conclusion matches the topic of the article.

Does the article clearly state its goal? Is the tone appropriate for the content? These are just some examples of how to assess the quality of an article.

There are several websites that can help you do this! There are even apps that do it for you. Some sites offer both free and paid versions, so choose wisely depending on your budget.

The Wikipedia website has an in-depth guide on how to write about a topic. They also have dedicated science writing guides. Both are excellent resources!

General article tips will always be helpful too like making an assertion or quoting someone else’s work as a reference.

Read for significance

how to research scientific articles

A significant part of doing science is figuring out what makes an interesting topic or study worthy of your time. It’s easy to start reading scientific studies, but you have to be sure that they are worth it.

Some studies seem overly dramatic with exaggerated claims. These types of studies may appeal to our natural instinct to defend ourselves or believe in powerful myths.

As you read through articles, evaluate their importance. Is this research important? Does it make a difference?

Is there an alternative method of testing that could be used instead of the one tested? If so, how well does it work?

Does the article give enough information about the methodology to repeat the experiments/tests themselves? You would want to know if there were any ethical issues in conducting the experiment.

You also should look into the potential biases of the researcher.

Look for a scientific study in the article

how to research scientific articles

A lot of people refer to this as an “evidence” or “study” report, but it is not! The term “article” is preferred because it makes the difference more clear. An article is defined as a piece of writing that reports on one topic or idea.

A research report is just like any other article except it is limited to only mentioning studies that prove the hypothesis or theory being reported on.

It is important to remember that even though they are called reports, there is no moral obligation to read them if you do not believe their conclusions. Reports can be long and complicated so try to stick to shorter ones unless you have time to really dig into one.

Look for the author

how to research scientific articles

As mentioned earlier, you should always check out who wrote an article before reading it. You can do this by looking at their bio or linked social media accounts.

If there is no clear writer listed, then it is better to look elsewhere. For example, you could search Google or LinkedIn to find more information about them.

It is also important to read other articles that they have published as they may feature in their writing or influence what they write.

Look for the journal

how to research scientific articles

One of the most important things you can do to make sure your research is sound and rigorous is to look up studies in past work.

By this, we mean looking through an academic journal or publishing website to see if what you are researching has been done before. If it has, great! But even if it hasn’t, reading the abstract and conclusion of the article will give you some insights into whether the study was meaningful and how well it was conducted.

By going beyond just the title and summary, as hard as that may be sometimes, you’ll actually learn something about the paper.

Academic journals have elaborate peer review systems that require reviewers with expertise in the field to assess the quality of both the argument and the methodology used. So don’t worry about being too critical – these professionals took time out of their day to evaluate it.

But remember, even though they might not agree with the conclusion, they should at least be able to tell if the experiment was properly executed and if the results made sense.