How to stay on top of the literature in 2020 – Part 1
In order to catch the newest research that may be useful for my own research, I use a set of tools and technics that in combination can save you the pain to do a literature review each time you start writing an article. Indeed, it is most likely that you will work in your field for a couple of years and we can derive already existing tools and technics in the sole purpose of staying on top of the literature. One challenge that I set to myself a couple of months after starting my PhD was to find the new diamonds of my field before by supervisor does. Why so when it seems so simple and effortless to do? Each time I would stop by her office to tell her I found this very interesting piece of work for our research, not only she would have always find it before me, but in the meantime, she would also have finished reading it and absorbed the main piece of information! When thousands of potentially relevant articles come out each week, it becomes vital to easily access and sort the most relevant research. In this new series of articles, I will describe technics in increasing order of broadness and efficiency. Let’s dive in!
1. Use your niche and people in your field
A. Ask your colleagues
B. Follow the right people on social medias (Twitter, Facebook…)
Figure 1 – Where to find the Twitter Lists
I am clearly not an expert on Twitter and my supervisor seems way better than me at this, but one of the drawbacks I found in using Twitter is that it easily gets messy. Not all the tweets scientists will share will be about their latest research nor about research at all. You can easily end up scrolling thousands of tweets before to find what you want. However, if a tweet with an article gets retweeted a lot, the algorithm will most likely catch it and highlight it to you. On top of that, mostly the younger generation is on Twitter, though it took me years to start an Academic Twitter, or a Twitter at all.
C. Use scientific social medias: ResearchGate, Google Scholar
Figure 2 – How to follow the updates of a researcher on Google Scholar,
for an example of profiles, see here.
Did you get your Evernote template for taking and keeping notes out of your reading (literature, notebooks…)?! It is still time!