How to Read Machine Learning Papers?


Machine Learning and Deep Learning are emerging technologies in the current industry scenario. There is a lot of work related to the industry and significantly impacting the present world business scenario. There are lots of people who are trying to enter this field and want to get benefited.

To master one field, it is necessary to get updated on the latest research works and the things happening in the latest days. There is a lot of content available on the internet that can b useful for the same. Still, the approach to reading these machine learning papers should be correct and efficient to get maximum out of it in minimum time.

In this article, we will discuss the right way to read machine learning papers and the sources, followed by some related tips and tricks.

Step 1: Find the Appropriate Papers

Whether you are a noobie in machine learning and deep learning or experiencing this field, finding the right paper that best suits you is the first step in searching and reading the machine learning papers.

Let’s suppose that a noobie who knows very little about this field enters and starts reading about the backpropagation research works, they might lose interest in this field, and as a result, they will leave. That is why choosing the proper research work papers is the first and most crucial step.

You can choose your research interest or papers depending on the following parameters −

  • Author − Selecting the research paper depending on the author is proven to work almost all the time. You can choose your author whom to read the research papers depending upon the content they share, the complexity level they talk about, and several other things.

  • Platform − Some of the media provide specific content according to the interest of the reader, you can find such a platform to read the papers and get benefited from the same.

  • Tags/Categories − You can select your category of interest for some topic in machine learning and manually search the paper on the internet. Many websites and platforms provide you the articles to read according to the categories and tags related to the same.

Step 2: Overview of the Paper

Once you have decided to read the particular paper, the next step is to take the overview or the birds' eye view of the paper. Directly jumping into the paper may save time and effort sometimes as you may need to learn what exactly is in.

You can follow these steps −

  • Read Abstract − The abstract of the paper describes the whole paper and its content concisely. By reading the abstract, you can quickly understand the content.

  • Check Table of Content − A table of Content is one of the best ways to check what major topics are covered in the article or paper. You can check the table of contents to check whether the content you are searching for is present in the form.

  • Read Conclusion − The conclusion is what all papers have in them. Directly reading the paper's conclusion may benefit you as it discusses the topic and areas covered in the paper.

Step 3: Read the Paper

The next step is to read the paper very briefly. Once you have decided to read the full article after a bird's eye view of the paper, you can start reading the article or the paper very briefly.

Start reading the article from the introduction to the conclusion, including all tables, graphs, formulas etc. Here, note that if you do not understand any terminology or any concept or procedure, then just skip it for a while and make a note of it or highlight it. Just try to reach the end of the paper.

Step 4: Deep Reading

Once you have read the paper or the article very briefly, now that you also have the terms or the formula you did not understand from the article, try searching for those and try to understand those concepts first.

Once you have understood all the terms and concepts from other sources, come back to the paper and again start reading the article very profoundly. Now you will also have an idea about the unknown terminologies, which will help you understand the concept better.

Step 5: Ask Questions and Conclude

Once you are done with the deep reading of the article, the next and final step is to ask yourself questions to your self. The questions can be like - what did I understand from the report? What is this term, why is it used, what is the purpose of this process, etc.?

Also, note that concluding the article or a paper always helps positively. Try to conclude the essay in one or two paragraphs and take note of it which will help one to revise the concept efficiently in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Finding the appropriate paper is the essential step for reading the paper. The search for these papers can be based on some authors, categories, or platforms.

  • Don’t directly jump into the article. Try to read the abstract, table of contents, and conclusion before reading the same.

  • Read the full paper once briefly with all images, drawings, formulas, and tables, and take notes of terms that are not familiar to you.

  • Read the paper very deeply after clearing all terminologies you didn’t know.

  • In the end, ask questions to yourself and take notes of important points you read from the paper.


This article discussed the right way to read research articles or papers with proper steps and explanations. This will help one to read the pieces in a very efficient manner and save time.

Updated on: 16-Jan-2023


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