THE LITERATURE: WHAT AND HOW?
How to learn about a field
- Be part of a research group.
- Surf the web.
- Download and try stuff.
- Make presentations.
- Contact authors.
- Take notes!
What to read
- What someone at VT tells you to read.
- What someone at VT wrote.
- Frequent or significant references in what you read.
- Graze the best journals.
- Classic papers vs. the latest-and-greatest.
- A quick tour of the publishing landscape:
- Conference proceedings
- Books: textbooks, monographs, collected papers.
- Technical reports, preprints, drafts.
- The web.
How to read
- Don't panic.
- Skim first. You shouldn't read everything.
Try to screen for redundancy and irrelevance.
- Keep an annotated bibliography.
- Categorize. Group by sub-topic, approach, author(s). Relate
to other things you've read.
- Make special note of the very best ones -- ``I want to
write like that.''