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When advising students performing research in one's group, what's the best way to make sure that they keep on top of the literature?

  • Is it best to forward any article of interest to the student?
  • Should we keep a list of journals the student should follow independently of me?
  • Are there other practices (reading journal, etc.) to make sure they stay up to date?
  • Is this something that can be pursued at a group level instead of on a one-on-one level?

1 Answer 1

It depends on the structure of the group, and the research area. I'm in computer science, in a specific subfield, and so I know when the main conference paper lists come out. I try to publicize these lists, and have meetings where we discuss papers that sound interesting - I also point out papers that have done something significant.

This only works well though when the research group is relatively homogeneous. If different students are working in different areas, then the basic principle is the same as above, but the sets of conferences tracked might vary.

The same could be done for journals that tend to release issues on a regular timeline. Or even with the arxiv.

Ultimately, the goal is to instill some good habits, rather than actually keeping the students aware of the literature. They have to learn to do it on their own.