Finding and reading papers
Understanding what others have done is critical to being able
to identify problems, improve how you solve problems, and
communicate how your solutions relate to what has been done
before. Here are a few sites that facilitate finding both
published and not (yet) published academic papers.
Additionally, many researchers link to their published papers
off of their website.
- Google Scholar:
Search tailored to academic papers. To search for a
particular author, use author:"Author
- arXiv (pronounced
"archive"): Many researchers post preprints (not yet
published papers) here.
Another site for searching for papers; in general, I find
Google Scholar to offer better search capabilities, but
CiteSeer also caches papers, so it is often the easiest
way to find a copy of a paper.
- ACM Digital Library:
Often the official location for papers published at ACM
conferences. Papers are freely available when accessed
from the campus network, but not necessarily otherwise.
Fortunately, there are usually other sites (e.g., the
authors' websites) that have free PDFs.
There are many helpful pieces of advice out there; here are a
few that ring true with me.
- Why pursue a
PhD in CS? Plus other resources about applying to
graduate school and doing well.
for researchers and students, advice for students
(and faculty) at all stages, compiled by Michael
tips, general advice for graduate students, from
deciding whether or not to go to graduate school, to where
ideas come from, to defending your dissertation and giving
demos. Compiled by Saul Greenberg.
- How to do great
research, a set of blog posts about many different
aspects to research, finding good ideas, academia, and its
relation to industry.
graduate study survival guide by UMD's very own Dianne O'Leary.
This covers a wide range of how to do well at grad school
(esp. at UMD), but there are also many general pieces of
advice, like finding
a research topic.
Above all, though, seek advice in person: from your
classmates, your professors, your friends and family
members... Be open to others' advice, seek it out. Just
remember that advice is not command: incorporate the advice
you receive into your own unique perspective, and share it to
help shape others'.