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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

How to Read a Scientific Paper: Home

Ask a Librarian


Reading a scientific journal article is not like reading a book. It does not begin at the beginning and then finish in the end.

You may have varying reasons to find an article. Are you reading because it interests you, are you looking for a new lab technique, or do you want to ascertain the validity of certain research?

Reading a journal article is a little like solving a puzzle. The important thing to remember is YOU are deciding if this article is relevant to you and worthwhile to its field. Question everything, the researchers are trying to prove to you that what they say is important. Are all the facts there, could you repeat the study? In the Structure section of this LibGuide you will learn questions to ask as you read through the scientific literature.

In this LibGuide you will learn the best ways to approach a scientific journal article.

Subject Guide

Biology Librarian's picture
Biology Librarian
Biosciences Librarian: Kelli Trei, Liaison to the Schools of Life Sciences in LAS: Molecular & Cellular Biology, Integrative Biology, and the Carl R. Woese Institute of Genomic Biology

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