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Source of sources: how I find the good science

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on are updated regularly over the years (see updates page).

Reader question: Could you possible share a few ideas about how to stay current on relevant literature? What is your system?

I use a lot of RSS feeds from journals, and scan those daily for relevant headlines, using good power tools, Reeder for Mac (an RSS reader) and Feedbin (a paid RSS subscription/syncing service and online reader). If you don’t know about RSS, see RSS in Plain English 5:00.

I also subscribe to the NEJM’s JournalWatch service which gives me good quality summaries.

But weirdly, social media is now probably the most important source of sources for me these days. I have a strong network of really smart colleagues who are also trying to stay current, and our collective efforts are extremely effective. As a group, we don’t miss much, and it’s often super clear what the most interesting recent papers are based on who shares what how often with how much enthusiasm. When a particularly intriguing and good quality paper is published, I’m going to find out!

So, cultivate virtual friendships with colleagues and mentors, and join Facebook discussion groups and fan pages where research gets discussed! They aren’t hard to find.

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