A big part of a researcher's time is spent reading papers. Either with the aim of keeping current in their field or for a literature survey in a new field, a researcher will read tens (or even tons :) ) of papers monthly. For this reason, it is very important to know how to read a paper.
In July's issue of Computer Communications Review (CCR Volume 37, Number 3 July 2007) S. Keshav (he is the author of a very nice book on communications systems: An Engineering Approach to Computer Networking) wrote a good article on "how to read a paper". I believe a perusal of this short paper is crucial for a new researcher. Paper reading skills are not taught anywhere, so this article is extremely useful.
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