How to read a scientific paper

Suggested steps from Ramey, D. W. (1999). How to read a scientific paper. In AAEP Proc (Vol. 45, pp. 280-4).

  • Step 1: Abstract. Ask "Is this article relevant enough to proceed to the full text, or should I move on to another article?"
  • Step 2: Discussion. Ask "What are the researchers' findings?"
  • Step 3: Introduction. Ask "Why did the researchers do this study?" and "Does the research question match up with the conclusions I read in Step 2?"
  • Step 4: Results. Ask "Are the data collected appropriate to answer the research question?" and "Do the data support the conclusions?"
  • Step 5: Methods (optional). Ask "How can I repeat this study?" and "Are these methods suitable to gather the results reported?"