Mind-Mapping and Reference Digging – Time Frame

As I’ve noted in previous posts, as I read a paper, I underline relevant passages. I also circle references I’m interested in. The paper then goes into my “to-map” file.

I like to “map” papers when I’m feeling braindead — when I’m too tired or too mentally exhausted to do things requiring extensive thought. This consists of loading relevant details for a paper into a mind map and then looking up all of the references I found interesting and adding them to my Cite-U-Like library.

I am feeling a bit tired today, and I just finished mapping a paper. By my timer, it took about 55 minutes for an 8-page paper. This is a pretty substantial amount of time (about 6.875 min/page). However, it allows me to browse or search a complete list of the relevant facts from papers I’ve read. This is much, much faster than re-reading each paper, and much more powerful than trying to keep track of all of the salient details in my head. I haven’t timed how long it takes me to map a paper before, and I’m going to try to remember to do it more. I’d like to get an average pages/minute. Of course, the times will be longer for “interesting” papers and shorter for less-“interesting” papers.

What do you do to keep track of important information from papers you’ve read?

One thought on “Mind-Mapping and Reference Digging – Time Frame

  1. Pingback: Virtually Shocking » Blog Archive » Underlining and Mind-Mapping Read Papers Pays Off

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