Click on the icons below to explore other sections:

trainings-t online-learning-treading-tglossary-t

How to Read and Understand a Scientific Paper:

A Step-by-Step Guide for Non-Scientists

  1. Begin by reading the introduction, not the abstract.
  2. Identify the big question.
  3. Summarize the background in five sentences or less.
  4. Identify the specific question(s).
  5. Identify the approach.
  6. Read the methods section.
  7. Read the results section.
  8. Determine whether the results answer the specific question(s).
  9. Read the conclusion/discussion/interpretation section.
  10. Go back to the beginning and read the abstract.
  11. Find out what other researchers say about the paper.

Read the full version of the article by Jennifer Raff

Additional Resources

Organization for Autism Research: Navigating Research

Organization for Autism Research: Finding Research

Organization for Autism Research: Parent’s Guide to Research