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I use a customized version of this: http://blizzard.cs.uwaterloo.ca/keshav/home/Papers/data/07/p...

The most important thing for me is to not read it from the beginning to the end (which is hard for me). Abstract->Conclusions, scan headlines. Methods is the most curious section for me. Depending on the paper and what I am working on I read the methods section last or first (even before the abstract). If it's more of a "oh that seems neat" paper I skip the methods section and mostly extract the idea. The book "How to read a book" is also a good source of ideas.

I don't think there's a one size fits all approach. I also find the various papers on writing literature reviews very helpful (for gathering an overview of a topic). Just checked my Zotero and these are the ones I have tagged:

"Using grounded theory as a method for rigorously reviewing literature"

"On being ‘systematic’in literature reviews in IS"

"A hermeneutic approach for conducting literature reviews and literature searches"

"Systematic literature reviews in software engineering–a systematic literature review"

"Writing narrative literature reviews."

Feel free to go as meta as you want ;)

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