Reading papers and keeping track of it can be overwhelming as there are so many papers out there the internet will give you access to tons of results and even more links to related ones, and most papers sound relevant in the first place. Below are my personal notes and strategies to cope with the flood of potential literature. Try to read as much as you can but do not be afraid if you have not read everything. You need a good feeling for what is relevant and what is not. Not everything you read will be relevant for inclusion into your paper/thesis.
Where to Find Papers?
- Use key terms in Google Scholar
- Look at forward citations, i.e. papers that cite a relevant paper
- Look at backward citations, i.e. papers referenced in a relevant paper
- Look at recent conference proceedings (for us that’s mostly likely IEEE VIS, EuroVis, PacificVis, ACM CHI).
How to keep track of papers:
- keep one google document
- list all the papers you find interesting to potentially read, ordered by some means (e.g. years, first author last name, title etc.)
start reading the most relevant. You don’t need to read the entire paper. Start with the abstract, then intro and go as far as you like. Take notes for each paper you read in the gdoc under the respective title.
- Include the URL for the paper in the gdoc.
- if you come across interesting papers referenced in the paper you read, add their title into the gdoc.
- once finished reading a paper, pick a new one and so on.
- To me, this provides a good overview of the papers I have already read, and the ones I potentially want to read. Looking at the listed titles, I can decide which ones are the most important to read next. Also when I add a new title to the collection, I sometimes add two types of brief comments
- how relevant I think the paper is, at the moment where I find it, and
- if I find a paper references in another paper, I usually add a comment what that paper said about the referenced paper (e.g. a study showing X). That, too, helps deciding later how relevant that paper is to be read.
- You can use citation management systems such as Zotero.