I believe writing notes is essential for scientific research. Both for future reference, and also to provide space to think.
I develop a lot of my understanding on paper. Once I’ve read and thought a bit about a topic, I really like starting with a fresh A4 page (or double spread) and writing down pointers to everything I know about the subject, little diagrams and snippets of mathematics. This would be wholly useless for anyone else to consult, but I find makes a good jumping off place for my thoughts, and something I can return to and rework.
(Updated 2016-03-12 to re-add the links)
I am probably the last person you would want to consult on tips to write a scientific publication. I’m slow, I procrastinate, my English is not the best, much work lies on the cutting room floor - skeletons of half assembled papers. Still, ‘that which we are, we are’, though my skills are lacking I’m very interested in improving, and certainly enjoy reading a well written paper.
Food for thought on how to structure research (Comp Sci in this case). Fundamental premise is too turn the process on it’s head, write the paper, and then go do the work. Do watch the YouTube; he’s a great lecturer!
“Most days you think ‘I am a worm’. This is the natural state of the researcher.”
Youtube talk (35 mins) | Slides PDF | HN Discussion