This sounds like oversimplified advice.
First of all, the whole paper from start to finish? No. In most cases this is a waste of time, especially with super technical papers. Its much more useful to tip people about how to read a paper in the first place; abstract -> conclusions -> interesting? no: next, yes: go deeper into introduction and discussion, need to know exactly what they did? read methods.
Second, its easy to read a paper and forget everything right after you finish if you have no connection to the material. Its much more useful to read papers in parallel with what you are doing, especially at the same time as writing your own papers. Sure, it can be good to get an overview of the available papers initially when getting into a new field, but most of the time they will be way too detailed to give you much use yet.
I have found that it can be useful to make a fake presentation when getting into a new topic, as we humans are very good at identifying our own knowledge gaps when we are trying to explain something to others.
Ideally, you should do as much as possible in parallel. Do experiments, read and write at the same time. Ive seen people do all their experiments and read everything first, then when the time comes to actually write something they feel like they know nothing, and its like ofcourse, because you only stored the knowledge in your brain and not on paper. Also writing is a muscle that needs to be maintained.
A good quote by Einstein: Never remember something you can look up.
To elaborate a bit more, I guess my focus was more at the start of your research. Each field is different and this isn't advice meant to be hard in stone. But as someone who was just starting out, I didn't really know where to begin. Someone told me "start reading one paper per day" and I started to become familiar with the other researches in my field and the types of experiments they ran. For me, I found it helpful and thought others might too.
No directional advice will be all encompassing or perfect, but I think this sub could do better about giving examples at what worked well during grad school to give ideas to others, as it is often a place where people come to vent. Venting is fine, but it's good to have a balance of posts.
I agree, its incredibly hard in the beginning. i think you are right, we should be giving each other more advice :)
That quote does not have appear to have a source. Sorry to be picky, just get sick of fake quotes wandering all over the internet. It’s ok to just call something an aphorism or a saying you find handy.
oh really? i guess i read it somewhere with Einsteins picture and assumed, good quote anyway
Yeah I mean it’s not your fault, it’s just this weird societal development where sayings have to attributed to Einstein or Benjamin Franklin or someone - although it’s well established in history, it turns out.