How to Read a Scientific Paper

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  1. Read the original study yourself.
  2. Don’t rely on titles and abstracts.
  3. Acquire the necessary background knowledge.
  4. Make sure that the paper is published in a legitimate journal.
  5. Check the authors for relevant expertise and conflicts of interest.
  6. See if the journal’s impact factor matches the paper’s claims.
  7. Make sure that the study was designed, conducted, and analyzed correctly.
  8. See if the paper is consistent with other studies.
  9. Make sure the paper follows the standard conventions of scientific writing.
  10. If all else fails, check Google for a refutation.
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