I am a master's student and have just started reading research papers regularly for the first time. I usually browse articles on arXiv.

One of the main difficulties I've run into is figuring out what's important and what isn't. Usually I read new articles (e.g. published within the last few years), and so I struggle to determine whether the contribution of the article is important or whether it's just a minor thing that will soon be forgotten.

If it's an old paper, then I know that if it's been cited in future works and if its work has been expanded on, then it was obviously an important paper. But what do I do with new papers?

For example, right now I am attempting to digest a 2018 paper called

"Explicit Heston solutions and stochastic approximation for path-dependent option pricing" https://arxiv.org/pdf/1907.00219.pdf

It's about circumventing the issues with the LSM algorithm and providing new means of simulating the Heston model without bias.

To me, it sounds super cool, but how do I figure out how crucial their contribution is to other people in the field?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This advice isn't terribly helpful but a lot of times, contributions from papers only become important quite a while later so all you can really do is get advice from your advisor and also go by the journal that paper is in. If something is in arxiv, it's going to be tougher to tell. $\endgroup$
    – mark leeds
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 5:06
  • $\begingroup$ This recent question might help answer a bit about the general process of improving models. quant.stackexchange.com/q/46461/29108 $\endgroup$
    – Slade
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ Not decisive but helps to whittle down the reading list: See if you recognize the author's name or affiliation, in connection with other previous well known, well cited publications. $\endgroup$
    – Alex C
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ Big topic, and maybe a very good topic for research. The paper, An Overview on Evaluating and Predicting Scholarly Article Impact by Bai et al.(pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d4f2/…) explains the problem and potential approaches really well. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 17:53


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