Last night, I came across a great paper by S. Keshav entitled “How to read a paper.” It’s freely available on his website (http://blizzard.cs.uwaterloo.ca/keshav/wiki/index.php/Main_Page) in (http://blizzard.cs.uwaterloo.ca/keshav/home/Papers/data/07/paper-reading.pdf). I highly recommend you read it – it’s only two pages, but offers a great methodology to approaching the art of reading scholarly articles.
At some point, another person, Iain McLean (http://www.psychologyinc.org/), created a literature review matrix to go along with Keshav’s paper. That is also available on Keshav’s website (http://blizzard.cs.uwaterloo.ca/keshav/home/Papers/data/07/paper_review_matrix.pdf). Both are a great resource to every academic.
However, I found the quality of the literature review matrix to be lacking, so I made my own. It’s the same format as Iain’s, but much higher quality and with more space for writing. I’ve also added a space for the publication year. I’m making it freely available here for anyone to download and use as you see fit. If you have any recommendations for how to improve it, I welcome your comments and can easily make it a “living document” much like Keshav’s article.