Skip to Main Content

BY 102: Topics in Contemporary Biology Lab: Read Articles

How to Read Scientific Articles (When You're Not a Scientist)

One of the important things scientists do is to communicate what they learn.  The common way to do this is to publish a scientific paper.  These papers are usually packed with information and written for other scientists.  The problem is these articles can be difficult to read.

When reading a scientific paper, you don’t always want to read it from front to back.  Usually, it’s helpful to skip around a bit to get the information in a certain order.  This order can change based on why you are reading a scientific article.

One of the most important things to remember as you read is to try to avoid getting discouraged.  Reading scientific information can be difficult.  But if you stick with it, you will get to see a whole new world that is filled with cutting-edge information.

Source:  Moeller, K. (2014, June 27). Anatomy of an article: Dissecting a scientific article. Arizona State University.

When reading scientific research articles, the Introduction and Discussion sections
are good places to look for general information and an overview of the important issues.

Source: Citadel Daniel Library. (2021, August 9). Anatomy of a scientific article.

© UAB Libraries ι University of Alabama at Birmingham ι About Us ι Contact Us ι Disclaimer