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The mid-March-to-mid-April 2018 Reading Challenge #AICCSED

One of the biggest challenges we face in academic life on a daily basis is juggling multiple tasks within a constrained period of time. We are always pressed for time and wish we could read more, or even just make time to read. I’ve encouraged folks to test and see if my AIC Content Extraction/Conceptual Synthesis Excel Dump (AIC/CSED) combination of methods could help them stay on top of the literature.

Working and writing everywhere

Several fellow professors have taken up this idea on their own…

One of the things that has been helping me lately is using collaborative groups where we support each other to achieve goals (writing, reading, submitting journal articles). I do this online with #GetYourManuscriptOut, which we (Steve Shaw, Mireya Marquez and I, with the help of Academic Batgirl) founded in order to encourage people to submit papers that were sitting dormant in people’s computers.

This time, I wanted to do a reading challenge. It’s a simpler proposal than “READ A FULL ARTICLE PER DAY”. This is challenging for everyone, given that closely reading (and actively reading, with highlighting and scribbling on the margins) is very time consuming. So I proposed on Twitter to do a one-month trial of AIC-CSED combo: not necessarily reading THE ENTIRE PAPER, but at least getting the gist of it using AIC and then storing what we learned in a CSED.

The challenge is simple: choose an article you need to read (or at least, skim!) and run an AIC (Abstract-Introduction-Conclusion) Content Extraction process to find the most relevant information in the paper. Then, drop your marginalia and/or highlights in a row in your Conceptual Synthesis Excel Dump. Then tweet about it using the hashtag #AICCSED. Hopefully seeing others taking up the challenge may be motivating.

Participating in this challenge (or not doing so) is not intended to shame anyone, this is just a process that (fingers crossed) should help organize our schedules in order to carve some time to read. At the end of the challenge, I am hoping we’ll all feel good about knowing that we’ve at least skimmed 20 more papers, and we have an idea of what they’re about. I’m obviously excluding weekends because we all need to take some time off, but if you feel like you want to read on the weekend, by all means!

I’d love to see screenshots of your CSED or AIC scribbles/highlights.

Posted in academia, reading strategies.

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