How I do field research for Quantum Resistant Cryptography

January 27, 2020

After starting my PHd I’ve had to develop a way to find relevant papers. In this blog post I’ll share this information so that it can be quickly referenced by me, and all those that might need to do similar research. Some of it could probably be used by others as well.

The easiest first

When diving into a new topic the first place I usually go looking is Google Scholar due to the breadth of publications it searches. A similar place I look at is the DBLP which is the same idea but from a german university. The DBLP uses a different source of information than Google Scholar. So if you want to find all possible papers/publications you will need to have used both.

Going straight to the Source

After having found the first few papers, I make sure to find all relevant conferences so that I do not miss anything. This list is very specific to Quantum Resistant Cryptography so will be completely different for other subjects.

Of course, you also have to check out the previous years. Depending on the topic you are looking into, this can be quite time consuming. But that’s how it is.

Following the Trail

After having identified a few papers, it is time to mark them down in your favorite software. In my case I’m using Zotero but I just use it as a quick library. Once you have those saved or otherwise in quick access it is time to read through them, and find out if they are truly relevant. If they are, check them out on DBLP/Google Scholar and look at the “References/Referenced By” lists. They are crucial to understand the web of knowledge that you want to dive into. Often, there are foundational papers that will be cited often. Those could be useful to understand to get a deep look into the topic. Either way, you then continue diving into the references of those references etc… until you feel like you have a good overview. Don’t forget to add those to your collection, after all you can delete them later if they are not relevant.


Using this technique I found that I managed to quickly dive into the subject of isogeny based quantum resistant cryptography. For different subjects there might be different steps to take, but I do believe that the core idea could stay the same. I hope you found it useful!