4 tips on finding and reading scientific papers…


People quote a lot of “research” on the internet, however, the sources are generally not peer reviewed or from reputable resources.

  1. A super handy tip when trying to find peer reviewed or credible information is to type what you want to look up and then follow it with site:edu. For example, this would look like heat stress site:edu. Adding the site:edu ensures that research which has been peer reviewed or research done by a university come up first in your search. These are generally seen as more credible than popular media and various websites. Also, it also puts you in touch with people who are “experts” on a topic, so you could potentially follow up on a topic.
  2. Another fun fact… If Google is your go-to for looking up a topic, then go to Google scholar. Google scholar “provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites”.
  3. Once you have found these research based articles, reading through them can be daunting. However, Elsevier, an academic publishing company, released a handy little infographic on how to read scientific papers. I thought it had some great points, and I encourage you to check it out. Hopefully it makes ready scientific literature a little less daunting.
  4. From the comments below, you will see that my friend Stephen shared another tip! I was not aware of this but have been trying it out and find it very helpful. When you do a Google search, type skeptic after what you want to look up. For example, this would look like GMO skeptic. From what I can tell, it filters out the popular media stuff (usually not very reliable or true) and brings up content that is worth reading!

This blog post was recently shared with me about the purpose of science, and how science may make mistakes, but how they are usually corrected via more/other science. A good read.

What other tips do you have for finding credible, scientific, peer-reviewed information?

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Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Website (http://food.unl.edu/ag-and-food)
– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
– Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/agwithdrlindsay)
– Pinterest (Lindsay Chichester-Medahunsi)

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4 thoughts on “4 tips on finding and reading scientific papers…

  1. If you still find that all a bit daunting, a trick I like to use is to Google your search term followed by the word “skeptic”. A lot of skeptic sites will provide an overview of the topic, will provide citations to back up claims and would get ripped to shreds by their readership if they got caught making a mistake. I’ve found it very reliable.

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