Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tips on collecting research papers related to your research topic

*. Tip 1: Type in the keyword of a specific research topic (such as "symbolic execution") or the title of a research paper known to you in
http://scholar.google.com/
Then for relevant papers, you could see a list of papers related to the keyword, typically with those papers with more citations shown earlier.

Then you could browse through the papers citing a specific papers by clicking the "Cited by XXX" for the paper, e.g. "Cited by 922" for an early paper on symbolic execution by King. Then you may browse more recent papers first by clicking "Since 2011", "Since 2010", .... (from a pull down menu shown near the top of the result page) one at a time to browse from newer papers to older papers.

For a specific paper, you could click its "Cited by XXX" to open a new tab or window in your browser to see the list of papers citing the paper so that you don't lose the context of your earlier browsed result page.

*. Tip 2: Similar to Tip 1, but do the search with keywords at
http://academic.research.microsoft.com/
Then click "here" (from "This page shows one keyword best matching your query, you can find other results here.") on the line near the top of the result page to get more matched results. You could navigate to the papers citing a paper by clicking "(citations: XXX)" shown in the end of the paper's title in the result page.

*. Tip 3: Search or browse ACM digital library http://portal.acm.org/ or IEEE Explore library http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/ to find papers and their references, as well as the papers citing them. Comparing with Google scholar (http://scholar.google.com/), ACM digital library could more easily allow you to navigate from a paper to papers from the list of references cited by this paper.

*. Tip 4: Type in the keyword of a specific research topic (such as "symbolic execution") or the title of a research paper known to you in
http://www.google.com/
If you find too many irrelevant results, you could add "filetypes:pdf" after your search keyword to return only the PDF files, which are typically the format of research papers. Note that for each research paper collected by Google Scholar as well, "Cited by XXX" is also shown for the entry of the paper in the normal Google result page to allow you to navigate to the papers citing the paper.

*. Tip 5: Browse online proceedings of recent major conference or journal contents in your research topic area from digital libraries (such as ACM digital library http://portal.acm.org/ or IEEE Explore library http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/) to find out relevant papers. Or browse online technical programs or accepted papers of major conferences posted on their conference webs before the proceedings are available in digital libraries, and then google specific paper titles since some researchers may post their paper PDF files on their homepages (typically after camera ready deadlines).

If you attend a conference, sometimes the conference organizers may distribute a single PDF (in a USB stick, CD, or online web) including all the research papers in the proceedings. Then you could globally search a keyword such as "symbolic execution" in the single PDF file to find out all locations mentioning this keyword and thus find out relevant papers.

*. Tip 6: Browse the publications webpages of specific researchers or research groups working on your research topic area. You could use a free tool WebMon (http://www.markwell.btinternet.co.uk/webmon/) or watchthatpage (http://www.watchthatpage.com/) to add these webpage URLs there and run the tool frequently (e.g., weekly) to automatically check whether these pages have been updated, and browse only those publications webpages that have been updated since last time you ran the tool.

If you have more tips, please contribute!

Acknowledgment:
Thank Yingfei Xiong for suggesting the watchthatpage online tool.

19 comments:

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  15. When writing a research paper, which is the best way to quote a person when writing? Quoting is the hardest thing for me when writing a research paper.

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