Keep up with literature

Notes from this post.

Reading techniques

  • Use an app. I (Gao) have been using RSS feads. Others have mentioned Read RXMD, PubCrawler, Google Scholar (updates feature), alerts from journals, Twitter, Pubchase, TOC of favorite journal, talk to others, readcube.
  • Every morning, read abstracts. Save some relevant ones for later to read deeper.
  • Every Friday use a regular time block to read in details of the most relevant ones. Blog about it or Twit it within 140 characters.
  • Download all papers and read them in chunks.
  • Summer is best time for reading.
  • Keep organized and able to backtrack is most challenging.
  • Need to draw a line between specificity and sensitivity.
  • Write grants and papers.
  • Play with different tools and establish a reading routine.

Read broader papers

  • Papers that cited my papers
  • Papers that cites an interesting paper or papers that the interesting paper cites
  • Google search


  • By Journal
  • Crucial papers: from colleagues, conferences, meetings.
  • Important papers will be cited so often that it is impossible to miss.
  • Do not try to read all at once.

Update 2019

  • I organize literature with mendeley which seems a very popular choice as of today.
  • I use a phone app called research to subscribe feeds from journals. Biorxiv papers are supported by this app. It also can be linked to a Mendeley account.


Gao Wang