Lit searches

In bio graduate school, the ultimate sign of success is publishing your scientific discoveries in a scientific journal. In preparation for writing up a paper on my work, I’m reading a bunch of papers related to the work I do. This paper is coming out of collaborative work I started 2.5 years ago, and it’s interdisciplinary, meaning I’m applying skills I have to a different type of biology than I’m formally trained in.

I’m really wishing I’d read some of these when I started the project instead of now, when I’m ostensibly finishing it up. I did read a lot of papers when I started this work, but I missed some really strong ones when I delved in. I think this isn’t surprising — I was learning how to enter a new field and get caught up quickly — but I’m now trying to learn some real lessons from the experience. I’ll be starting a post-doc in the foreseeable future (fingers crossed!), and in doing so I’ll need to once again learn a new field.

For anyone out there who’s switched scientific fields, or changed to any new form of work, how did you learn all the things you needed? Any tips for efficiently finding the most useful resources out there?

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