Reading brand new Computer Science research papers for free

Have you ever wondered what researchers are currently working on in computer science or AI? It’s actually very easy to find out and best of all: most of the research papers are available for free!

First of all I want to talk about arXiv is the platform where most computer science and math papers are published. It describes itself as follows:

arXiv is a free distribution service and an open-access archive for 1,858,293 scholarly articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics. (emphasis my own)

I don’t often use it to look for papers – though they do have a search function on their website as well – but it is important to know this site because most other sources (see below) link to arXiv. You can download the PDF of the paper and often also the LaTeX source, which can be useful if you want to include a lot of formulas of this paper in your own writing (while giving credit of course), so you can just copy paste those formulas and instead of TeXing them all on your own.

Google Scholar

If you know what topic you’re looking for, Google Scholar is your best bet. This is Google’s search engine for research papers and literature specifically and you can find it under

Simply search for some keywords that interest you and you get a list of suggested literature showing you

  • the title
  • the authors
  • year of publication – you can also filter for newer papers on the left
  • where the paper or book was published – showing if it was published in big conferences like NeurIPS, ICLR, etc
  • number of citations – many citations means it was quite influential and many papers built upon this paper
  • and most importantly: most of the time there is a link on the right directly to a PDF version

If you already read an interesting paper, you can find it on Google Scholar and then check out the papers who cited it by clicking on “Cited by X” or see the “Related articles” to learn more about this area of research.


I’m not joking, Twitter is great for finding out about research. Especially to find out about research right when it releases.

Simply follow some researchers that published interesting papers or students that work in an area similar to your own field of interest to see when they publish new results. Most people will also share work of others that they recently discovered which might expose you to new ideas that you otherwise would have never searched for directly.

Conference websites

To get up to speed with some top quality papers you can see which papers were accepted to the most recent versions of the top conferences in the field, like NeurIPS and ICLR. Here for example is a link to all papers accepted to NeurIPS 2020.


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