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The Art of Reading a Journal Article

The Art of Reading a Journal Article

The following presentation is based on this paper, which provides recommendations for optimizing one's approach to reading scientific journal publications:​

Subramanyam R. (2013). Art of reading a journal article: Methodically and effectively. Journal of oral and maxillofacial pathology : JOMFP, 17(1), 65–70. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-029X.110733

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23798833/

The Art of Reading a Journal Article © 2022 by E. Nomi is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

The University of Nomi

February 07, 2024
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  1. The Art of Reading a Journal Article
    Methodically and Effectively
    February 2022
    From: centralsciencelibrary.blogspot.com

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  2. What are Research Papers For?
    (RV Subramanyam, 2013)

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  3. What are Research Papers For?
    » Build body of knowledge
    » Help formulate research
    questions and experiment
    designs
    From: reddit.com/r/ProgrammerHumor

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  4. Peer-Review
    » Allows experts in a field to self-
    regulate publication standards
    and assure validity, quality and
    originality of journal articles
    » Publications in peer-reviewed
    journals have more value
    From: opg.optica.org/reviewer

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  5. Large Volume of Publications
    » Publications are growing exponentially
    “To be updated with current knowledge, a
    physician practicing general medicine has
    to read 17 articles a day, 365 days a year.”
    (RV Subramanyam, 2013)
    Date Range # Publications
    in Medline
    1978-1985 272,344
    1986-1993 344,303
    1994-2001 398,778

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  6. Journal article publications have increased since
    the publication of this paper
    » Publication output in science and engineering hit 2.9 million articles in 2020
    Source(s): National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics; Science-Metrix; Elsevier, Scopus abstract and
    citation database, accessed May 2021; World Bank Country and Lending Groups, accessed March 2021.

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  7. “We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.”
    — John Naisbitt
    - Publications are growing exponentially.
    - “To be updated with current knowledge, a
    physician practicing general medicine has
    to read 17 articles a day, 365 days a year.”
    - Logical methodology for a parsimonious
    approach.
    Date Range # Publications
    in Medline
    1978-1985 272,344
    1986-1993 344,303
    1994-2001 398,778
    (RV Subramanyam, 2013)

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  8. Methodological Approach
    An efficient method of navigating the literature is needed.
    From: miro.medium.com

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  9. Decide what you’re looking for.
    (RV Subramanyam, 2013)
    Methodology: Step 1

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  10. Types of Research Papers
    » Primary Literature
    – Presents original
    research and findings
    » Secondary Literature
    – Reviews, editorials,
    practice guidelines
    From: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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  11. Types of Research Papers
    » Primary Literature
    – Presents original
    research and findings
    » Secondary Literature
    – Reviews, editorials,
    practice guidelines
    From: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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  12. The next steps require a basic understanding of
    the anatomy of a research paper
    The next steps require a basic understanding of
    the anatomy of a research paper
    From Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings (Royal Collection)

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  13. Anatomy of a Research Paper
    »
    Title
    »
    Abstract
    »
    Intro
    »
    Methods
    »
    Results
    »
    Discussion
    »
    Conclusion
    »
    References
    - Research topic
    - Information about the
    authors

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  14. Anatomy of a Research Paper
    »
    Title
    »
    Abstract
    »
    Intro
    »
    Methods
    »
    Results
    »
    Discussion
    »
    Conclusion
    »
    References
    - Brief synopsis of the paper
    - Usually short due to word
    limit for publication
    - Free, even for papers that
    must be purchased

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  15. Anatomy of a Research Paper
    »
    Title
    »
    Abstract
    »
    Intro
    »
    Methods
    »
    Results
    »
    Discussion
    »
    Conclusion
    »
    References
    - Background information
    - Statement of the research
    hypothesis

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  16. Anatomy of a Research Paper
    »
    Title
    »
    Abstract
    »
    Intro
    »
    Methods
    »
    Results
    »
    Discussion
    »
    Conclusion
    »
    References
    - Procedures followed
    - Instruments used
    - Variables measured
    - Implementation of statistics

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  17. Anatomy of a Research Paper
    »
    Title
    »
    Abstract
    »
    Intro
    »
    Methods
    »
    Results
    »
    Discussion
    »
    Conclusion
    »
    References
    - Contains all data of study
    - Figures, tables, graphs
    - Statistical analyses
    – Hypothesis testing
    – Significance of data

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  18. Anatomy of a Research Paper
    »
    Title
    »
    Abstract
    »
    Intro
    »
    Methods
    »
    Results
    »
    Discussion
    »
    Conclusion
    »
    References
    - Interpretation of results
    - Answers research question
    - Limitations of the study
    - Sometimes included in
    results section

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  19. Anatomy of a Research Paper
    »
    Title
    »
    Abstract
    »
    Intro
    »
    Methods
    »
    Results
    »
    Discussion
    »
    Conclusion
    »
    References
    - Authors’ conclusions based
    on outcome of study
    - Future direction for further
    research
    - Sometimes included in
    discussion section

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  20. Anatomy of a Research Paper
    »
    Title
    »
    Abstract
    »
    Intro
    »
    Methods
    »
    Results
    »
    Discussion
    »
    Conclusion
    »
    References
    - Citations of sources where
    information was obtained
    - Important element of fact-
    checking

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  21. Methodology: Step 2
    Read the title.
    » Is the paper a review article or original research?

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  22. Methodology: Step 3
    Read the abstract.
    » What are the
    background or
    hypothesis, general
    methods, results and
    conclusions?
    (International Helminth Genomes Consortium, 2019)

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  23. Methodology: Step 4
    Read the conclusion.
    » What claim does the
    research assert?
    » Were the conclusions
    logically based on reported
    data?
    » Will the results assist in
    clinical practice or further
    research?
    (Rosa et. Al 2018)

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  24. Methodology: Step 5
    Decide whether or not to read further.
    (RV Subramanyam, 2013)

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  25. Methodology: Step 6
    Read the intro.
    » Why was this study performed?
    » What was the research
    hypothesis?
    » What were the aims and
    objectives of the study?
    (Woldayay et al., 2021)

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  26. Methodology: Step 7
    Read the methods.
    » What procedures were
    followed?
    » Is there any supporting
    information?
    » Inclusion/exclusion
    criteria?
    (Abbasi et al., 2018)

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  27. Methodology: Step 7
    Read the methods.
    » How was statistical
    significance determined?
    – P-value cutoffs
    – Tests implemented
    – Software used
    (Immediato et al., 2016)

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  28. Statistics are Crucial!
    From: medium.com/analytics-vidhya
    » Descriptive Statistics
    – Quantitative description
    of a dataset
    – Facilitates data
    visualization

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  29. Statistics are Crucial!
    From: miro.medium.com
    » Descriptive Statistics
    – Mean, median, range,
    standard deviation
    – Frequency
    – Sensitivity and
    specificity

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  30. Statistics are Crucial!
    From: biochemia-medica.com
    » Inferential Statistics
    (Hypothesis testing)
    – Drawing conclusions or
    making predictions about
    a population based on
    data observed in a sample
    – Significance testing

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  31. Statistics are Crucial!
    From: scyther5/iStock/GettyImages
    » Parametric tests:
    – Normal curve test (Z test)
    – Student’s t-test
    – Analysis of variance
    – Pearson correlation
    coefficient
    – Linear regression

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  32. Statistics are Crucial!
    » Non-parametric tests for
    quantitative data:
    – Wilcoxon signed rank test
    – Mann Whitney rank sum

    test
    – Kruskal Wallis test

    From: scyther5/iStock/GettyImages

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  33. Statistics are Crucial!
    » Non-parametric tests for
    qualitative data:
    – Chi square test

    – McNemar test
    – Fisher’s exact test
    From: scyther5/iStock/GettyImages

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  34. Methodology: Step 8
    » What were the key findings
    regarding the hypothesis?
    » Is data reported in graphs
    or tables?
    » Which aspects were
    significant/non-significant?
    Read the results.
    (Woldayay et al., 2021)

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  35. Methodology: Step 9
    » How were research
    questions answered?
    » What was the
    interpretation of data
    analysis?
    » Were there limitations to
    the study?
    Read the discussion.
    (Torgerson et al., 2015)

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  36. Methodology: Step 10
    » Was your initial assessment of
    the journal article correct?
    – Research claim
    – Supported by data
    – Practical application or
    future research
    Re-read the conclusion.
    (Simonato et al., 2020)

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  37. Methodology: Step 11
    » Were references formatted correctly?
    » Were all the references cited in the text?
    » How old are references?
    Read through references.
    (Kreiman and Maunsell, 2011)

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  38. Conclusion
    It is important now more than ever to have a methodical
    strategy for approaching the literature, and a critical eye.
    From: bu.edu, freepngimg.com

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  39. References
    Azamfirei, L. (2016). Knowledge is power. The Journal of Critical Care Medicine, 2(2), 65–66. https://doi.org/10.1515/jccm-2016-0014
    Garba, S., Ahmed, A., Mai, A., Makama, G., & Vincent, O. I. (2010). Proliferations of scientific medical journals: a burden or a blessing. DOAJ (DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals).
    https://doi.org/10.5001/omj.2010.89
    Kelly, J., Sadeghieh, T., & Adeli, K. (2014). Peer Review in Scientific Publications: Benefits, Critiques, & A Survival Guide. EJIFCC, 25(3), 227–243.
    Subramanyam, RV. (2013). Art of reading a journal article: Methodically and effectively. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, 17(1), 65. https://doi.org/10.4103/0973-029x.110733
    Example Articles:
    Abbasi, I., Queiroz, A. T. L., Kirstein, O. D., Nasereddin, A., Horwitz, B. Z., Hailu, A., Salah, I., Mota, T. F., Fraga, D. B. M., Veras, P. S. T., Poché, D. M., Poché, R. M., Yeszhanov, A., Brodskyn, C., Torres-Poché, Z., & Warburg, A.
    (2018). Plant-feeding phlebotomine sand flies, vectors of leishmaniasis, prefer Cannabis sativa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(46), 11790–11795.
    https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1810435115
    Immediato, D., Figueredo, L. A., Iatta, R., Camarda, A., De Luna, R. L. N., Giangaspero, A., Brandão-Filho, S. P., Otranto, D., & Cafarchia, C. (2016). Essential oils and Beauveria bassiana against Dermanyssus gallinae
    (Acari: Dermanyssidae): Towards new natural acaricides. Veterinary Parasitology, 229, 159–165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2016.10.018
    International Helminth Genomes Consortium (2019). Comparative genomics of the major parasitic worms. Nature genetics, 51(1), 163–174. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0262-1
    Kreiman, G., & Maunsell, J. H. R. (2011). Nine criteria for a measure of scientific output. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncom.2011.00048
    Rosa, B. A., Supali, T., Gankpala, L., Djuardi, Y., Sartono, E., Zhou, Y., Fischer, K., Martin, J., Tyagi, R., Bolay, F. K., Fischer, P. U., Yazdanbakhsh, M., & Mitreva, M. (2018). Differential human gut microbiome assemblages
    during soil-transmitted helminth infections in Indonesia and Liberia. Microbiome, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-018-0416-5
    Simonato, G., Marchiori, E., Marcer, F., Ravagnan, S., Danesi, P., Montarsi, F., Bononi, C., Capelli, G., Pietrobelli, M., & Cassini, R. (2020). Canine Leishmaniosis Control through the Promotion of Preventive Measures
    Appropriately Adopted by Citizens. Journal of Parasitology Research, 2020, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/8837367
    Torgerson, P. R., Devleesschauwer, B., Praet, N., Speybroeck, N., Willingham, A. L., Kasuga, F., Rokni, M. B., Zhou, X., Fèvre, E. M., Sripa, B., Gargouri, N., Fürst, T., Budke, C. M., Carabin, H., Kirk, M., Angulo, F. J., Havelaar, A.
    H., & De Silva, N. (2015). World Health Organization Estimates of the Global and Regional Disease Burden of 11 Foodborne Parasitic Diseases, 2010: A data Synthesis. PLOS Medicine, 12(12), e1001920.
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001920
    Wolday, D., Gebrecherkos, T., Arefaine, Z. G., Kiros, Y. K., Gebreegzabher, A., Tasew, G., Abdulkader, M., Abraha, H. E., Desta, A. A., Hailu, A., Tollera, G., Abdella, S., Tesema, M., Abate, E., Endarge, K. L., Hundie, T. G., Miteku,
    F. K., Urban, B. C., Schallig, H. H., . . . De Wit, T. F. R. (2021). Effect of co-infection with intestinal parasites on COVID-19 severity: A prospective observational cohort study. EClinicalMedicine, 39, 101054.
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101054

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