How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists

From vaccinations to climate change, getting science wrong has very real consequences. But journal articles, a primary way science is communicated in academia, are a different format to newspaper articles or blogs and require a level of skill and undoubtedly a greater amount of patience. Here Jennifer Raff has prepared a helpful guide for non-scientists on how to read a scientific paper. These steps and tips will be useful to anyone interested in the presentation of scientific findings and raise important points for scientists to consider with their own writing practice.

My post, The truth about vaccinations: Your physician knows more than the University of Google sparked a very lively discussion, with comments from several people trying to persuade me (and the other readers) that their paper disproved everything that I’d been saying. While I encourage you to go read the comments and contribute your own, here I want to focus on the much larger issue that this debate raised: what constitutes scientific authority?

It’s not just a fun academic problem. Getting the science wrong has very real consequences. For example, when a community doesn’t vaccinate children because they’re afraid of “toxins” and think that prayer (or diet, exercise, and “clean living”) is enough to prevent infection, outbreaks happen.

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The irreversible momentum of clean energy


Private-sector incentives help drive decoupling of emissions and economic growth.

-Barak Obama, President of USA.

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Approach Professor for Assistantships

Guys, I am receiving message and email how to approach professor for graduate research/teaching assistantships for MS and PhD in universities of USA. I am putting a piece of suggestion in this blog post just to make my tips public and make it more accessible to all candidates. It is not a perfect suggestion but something, indeed good information, if you don’t have an idea about how to start writing an approaching email. Just check this piece of information. Hope, it would be helpful to you all.

Dr. (Last Name)


(Introduce who you are with your name, your degree [Eg: B. Sc. (Agriculture) from Tribhuvan University, Nepal] with your academic achievement, GRE  and TOEFL score and your working experience if any, in 4-5 lines/sentences and close first paragraph. Make it more formal and systematic. Give impression like you are professional and you are ready to take the opportunity. Don’t make email looks like you were just throwing an email just to check professors, which is not good.) Continue reading

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