7 junio, 2024

Scientific reading: characteristics, importance and examples

The scientific reading refers to a very specific type of reading used in research. It is not limited to scientific topics, but to the set of factors and processes that a reader makes to carry out a critical reading of a specialized text.

It is a much more in-depth reading that requires the reader’s prior knowledge, since through it not only is learning learned, but also reflecting, analyzing, and even adding information.

Scientific or critical reading is a previous and obligatory step to access new knowledge, understand it and later elaborate a scientific text with conclusions generated by reading.


Where does scientific reading exist?

This type of reading is common in universities, higher education institutions, research institutes and the like, in which scientific texts or articles are usually submitted to the consideration of colleagues before being disclosed.

It is necessary to indicate that in this sense, both scientific articles and their reading are not limited to topics such as engineering, biology, chemistry, etc., but rather cover all categories of knowledge, from literature and philosophy to business administration. , law or medicine.

What is required on the part of the reader is prior knowledge that makes him capable of detecting whether the information contained is true or, in any case, that allows him to discern and generate new ideas from reading.

We could summarize the concept by saying that scientific reading is the one used to study, reflect and investigate.

Characteristics of scientific reading

This type of reading entails a process similar to that which takes place in the writing of specialized texts: if the texts must be objective, clear, verifiable and precise, scientific reading must be attentive, slow and subject to reflection.

Prior knowledge

It is obvious that the reader must have a minimum of prior knowledge before beginning a scientific reading, otherwise the communicative intention is not established. The specialized text needs a reader capable of understanding the concepts offered.

careful and slow reading

This means that in the reading process, constant attention to the text must prevail, applying methods such as the preparation of summaries or thematic sheets for a better understanding of it.

read and compare

In scientific reading it is common for comparative studies of texts whose purpose is the same but in which the arguments used lead them to reach radically different conclusions.

In these cases, a scientific reading achieves a reflective base to obtain knowledge and to deepen it. When two scientific studies with different results are compared, it is common for the reader to build their own original concept, thanks to the mental process of interaction between thought and language.


The importance of scientific reading lies in the ability that it gives the reader to differentiate concepts with rigor, reflect on a specific topic and generate new knowledge from the text read.

It is essential for university students (and in general, for anyone who wants to delve into a subject), for teachers, researchers and scientists of all fields, because with a reading of this type the critical spirit of the reader is developed.

It teaches to think, since one of its objectives is, precisely, to learn, through careful reading, to break down a text, to analyze it from different points of view, which, in practical terms, means that the reader believes or a reflective space is made possible in which to elaborate new ideas or knowledge.

It also serves as a tool for professional updating.


Example 1: circulatory system (biology)

“The circulatory system or circulatory system is the anatomical structure made up of the cardiovascular system that conducts and circulates blood, and the lymphatic system that conducts lymph unidirectionally towards the heart.

In humans, the cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries) and blood, and the lymphatic system is made up of lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, lymphatic organs (spleen and thymus), bone marrow and lymphatic tissues (such as tonsils and Pever’s patches), and lymph.

Example 2: Dark matter (physics)

“The microscopic composition of dark matter and the direct or indirect observation of its presence, beyond its gravitational effects, represents one of the most urgent problems facing Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology.

For several years, experimental searches of various kinds have been carried out, without any conclusive results. All the evidence indicates that the microscopic constituents of dark matter cannot belong to the particle spectrum of the Standard Model.»

Example 3: Gradual ontology of existence (philosophy)

“Succinctly, and without attempting to be exact, the main argument in favor of the fact that there are degrees of reality or existence proceeds as follows: 1) there are fuzzy properties and sets in reality, ee, that occur by degrees; 2) extractionism: the degrees of possession or belonging correspond to two degrees of truth; 3) definition of truth: the fact that a sentence is true is equivalent to the existence of the fact to which it refers; therefore: there are degrees of existence”.

Example 4: Literary analysis

“The primal, preconscious, ‘magical’ vision of the goddess of water corresponds to his narrative behavior: in addition to the agitated torrent of intertexts and genres, we will verify the blurring of the borders between wakefulness and sleep –with a pertinent use of surrealist automatism–; the evanescence of everything that separates the written from the oral –parataxis and parallelism dominate here, just as in folklore or primitive literature–; and, as I have also anticipated, the barriers between the sublime and the festive crumble”.

Example 5: Bacterial molecular genetics (biology)

“Although bacteria do not have sexual reproduction (although when Lederberg and Tatum discovered conjugation in 1946 they considered it a form of sexual crossing), under certain conditions they can carry out recombination with part of the genome of a donor bacterium. The main mechanism of variation, and therefore of diversification and evolution, is found in bacteria in mutation”.


Lopez Yepes, J. (2014). Scientific reading. Digital dictionary of new ways of reading and writing. Taken from dinle.usal.es.
Vargas Garduño, ML (2017). Scientific reading, a strategy to promote the comprehensive training of teachers and students. San Luis Potosi. XIV National Congress of Educational Research. Taken from come.org.mx.
Bernal, C. (2010). Scientific research process. Research Methodology, Vol. 3, p. 74-230.
Cassany, D., & Morales, O. (2008). Reading and writing at the university: Towards critical reading and writing of scientific genres. Memorial Magazinevol. 5, No. 2, p. 69-82.
Structure and characteristics of a scientific text (2020). Taken from blog.conricyt.mx.

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