The automatic summarization of scientific papers, to assist researchers in conducting literature surveys, has garnered significant attention because of the rapid increase in the number of scientific articles published each year. However, whether and how these summaries actually help readers in comprehending scientific papers has not been examined yet. In this work, we study the effectiveness of automatically generated summaries of scientific papers for students who do not have sufficient knowledge in research. We asked six students, enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s programs in Japan, to prepare a presentation on a scientific paper by providing them either the article alone, or the article and its summary generated by an automatic summarization system, after 15 min of reading time. The comprehension of an article was judged by four evaluators based on the participant’s presentation. The experimental results show that the completeness of the comprehension of the four participants was higher overall when the summary of the paper was provided. In addition, four participants, including the two whose completeness score reduced when the summary was provided, mentioned that the summary is helpful to comprehend a research article within a limited time span.