how to write scientific review article

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How to write scientific review article

A meta-analysis is a quantitative systematic review. It combines data from several studies to reach a conclusion that is statistically stronger than any in the single studies, mainly because of having more study subjects and more diversity among subjects. A good review usually concentrates on a theme, such as different theories, information on the progress of developing a new medical device, or how past developments influence new discoveries.

A review might also ask that more resources be used to continue research in that specific field. There are advantages and disadvantages to writing a review. In addition to having more available data, other advantages include confirmatory data analysis and that reviews are considered to be an evidence-based resource. Some of the disadvantages are they are more time consuming and not all studies will provide the requisite amount of data. In addition, statistical functions and interpretations are more complex and authors must ensure that the populations from each study and all studies combined are heterogeneous.

Previous reviews on the chosen theme using Google Scholar can provide information on any new findings, and the following points should be considered when conducting searches:. Once the inclusion and exclusion criteria have been identified based on these points, authors are ready to prepare their paper. These sources, among others, are not allowed to be used as sources for review articles. Authors must ensure that the sources are legitimate research studies and that they are similar in nature e.

Maximum length can vary depending on the author guidelines from the journal to which you are submitting, so authors must always check those guidelines before they begin. As a general rule, most journals ask that a specific font and size be used e. The article structure should contain very specific sections, which might vary slightly according to different science disciplines. Just get as many words down on the page as possible. This could be in the form of lists, streams of consciousness, or anything else.

This quickly became a problem when I realized how elusive a free two hour block of time was. Eventually, I learned that I was most productive in short bursts even twenty minutes was enough to make some progress. I ended up citing both because I used both.

Typically lists and pictures are the most useful parts of reviews. For example, we summarized how frequently each member of a class of proteins was mutated, as reported in various studies. We made a table that listed each protein in the class, then for each protein we listed all the studies that reported mutations in that protein including how frequently a mutation was found and the size of the study.

This was useful because you could easily see how frequently each protein was mutated, you could see how big the studies were, and you could find the original paper if you wanted to learn more. Another example: we made a schematic of all the proteins in the class that showed the relative sizes and the conserved domains. This information was available in GenBank, but it was useful to present it all in one place to get a sense of the similarities and differences among proteins in the class.

I was lucky in that my adviser always played an active role in writing and editing, so I always had someone to send drafts back and forth with. That being said, we probably exchanged dozens of drafts of the manuscript. This is the time to transform the document into something cohesive-- change the sentences, make it flow, and start telling the story. Like any editing process, you will need time away from the article to be able to keep editing it effectively. You will also begin to hate the article.

Overall, writing a review can be overwhelming and challenging. And to quote my adviser, "you just gotta do it. So, just do it! So, as long as it doesn't look done, just keep working on it. Good luck! Haery, Leila, Ryan C. Thompson, and Thomas D. Topics: Scientific Sharing , Scientific Publishing. Add Comment. Addgene is a nonprofit plasmid repository.

We archive and distribute high quality plasmids from your colleagues. Choose the topic and outline the organization of the review Once you start reading, there will be a temptation to include every piece of information that was ever published. Get and use a reference management program e. Start reading!

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In , Quality of Reporting of Meta-analyses QUOROM , which focused on meta-analyses of randomized controlled studies, was created during a conference involving a group of scientists, clinicians, and statisticians. The QUOROM statement, checklist, and flow diagram were introduced to researchers to help them better organize their reviews and ensure that specific criteria were followed.

A review article is not an original study. It examines previous studies and compiles their data and evidence. Although narrative reviews can be useful, they are not in depth and do not necessarily analyze data or study-group sizes for determining whether results are valid. A meta-analysis is a quantitative systematic review. It combines data from several studies to reach a conclusion that is statistically stronger than any in the single studies, mainly because of having more study subjects and more diversity among subjects.

A good review usually concentrates on a theme, such as different theories, information on the progress of developing a new medical device, or how past developments influence new discoveries. A review might also ask that more resources be used to continue research in that specific field. There are advantages and disadvantages to writing a review. In addition to having more available data, other advantages include confirmatory data analysis and that reviews are considered to be an evidence-based resource.

Some of the disadvantages are they are more time consuming and not all studies will provide the requisite amount of data. In addition, statistical functions and interpretations are more complex and authors must ensure that the populations from each study and all studies combined are heterogeneous. Previous reviews on the chosen theme using Google Scholar can provide information on any new findings, and the following points should be considered when conducting searches:.

Once the inclusion and exclusion criteria have been identified based on these points, authors are ready to prepare their paper. Writing a review article is a wonderful way to develop and exercise your scientist skill set. I wrote a review article on histone modifers in B and T cells with my adviser when I was a graduate student. So, here, I will share my process with you.

But before I do that, let me say that I was by no means an expert on this topic when I set out to write the review. Once you start reading, there will be a temptation to include every piece of information that was ever published. So, define your scope from the onset. Perhaps you, a colleague, or your adviser was invited to write on a particular topic.

Once you pick a topic, try to be specific about exactly what aspect of the field you plan to review. Whether submitting a review by invitation or by your own accord, once you have these rules word limit, formatting guidelines, etc. I cite as I write, meaning I use the software to add the citations in real time as I write.

I also recommend using the citation style of Last name, Year in the document while writing, because it helps you later on to remember where you read particular studies or experiments. Later, you can easily convert the citation style to whatever the journal requires. Using the Last name, Year format also has the benefit of exposing you to relevant researchers in the field. I read these articles to get a sense of the themes in the field and to learn what people cared about.

I also used reviews to get a list of research papers that I needed to read. I made sure to find information from genome-wide studies, as well as results from smaller and more specific studies. I also did not limit myself to the well-cited or popular papers, but looked for papers from a wide range of authors. When I first started I thought I would read a bunch of papers and then feel ready to write. Instead of reading a paper and getting my bearings, I would read a paper, panic, and then download a bunch of other papers.

In mathematics, I think this is represented by factorials. In environmental science and ecology, this can be represented by the tip of the iceberg. At the beginning I felt like this was cheating. I also learned to appreciate the discussion sections of the primary literature as a resource that both summarized results and contextualized them. Just get as many words down on the page as possible.

This could be in the form of lists, streams of consciousness, or anything else. This quickly became a problem when I realized how elusive a free two hour block of time was. Eventually, I learned that I was most productive in short bursts even twenty minutes was enough to make some progress. I ended up citing both because I used both. Typically lists and pictures are the most useful parts of reviews. For example, we summarized how frequently each member of a class of proteins was mutated, as reported in various studies.

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They provide historical context for a field while offering opinions on its future trajectory. But few scientists are trained in how to write a review — or in what constitutes an excellent one. So Nature asked editors and working scientists with well-cited reviews for their tips. Assistant professor of chemical and biomedical engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. When I was a research student, review writing improved my understanding of the history of my field.

I also learnt about unmet challenges in the field that triggered ideas. For example, while writing my first review 1 as a PhD student, I was frustrated by how poorly we understood how cells actively sense, interact with and adapt to nanoparticles used in drug delivery.

This experience motivated me to study how the surface properties of nanoparticles can be modified to enhance biological sensing. When I transitioned to my postdoctoral research, this question led me to discover the role of cell-membrane curvature, which led to publications and my current research focus. Collection: Careers toolkit. A common problem for students writing their first reviews is being overly ambitious.

When I wrote mine, I imagined producing a comprehensive summary of every single type of nanomaterial used in biological applications. It ended up becoming a colossal piece of work, with too many papers discussed and without a clear way to categorize them. We published the work in the end, but decided to limit the discussion strictly to nanoparticles for biological sensing, rather than covering how different nanomaterials are used in biology.

A good review should also avoid jargon and explain the basic concepts for someone who is new to the field. Bozhi Tian likes to get a variety of perspectives into a review. Credit: Aleksander Prominski. In my lab, we start by asking: what is the purpose of this review? My reasons for writing one can include the chance to contribute insights to the scientific community and identify opportunities for my research.

I also see review writing as a way to train early-career researchers in soft skills such as project management and leadership. This is especially true for lead authors, because they will learn to work with their co-authors to integrate the various sections into a piece with smooth transitions and no overlaps.

After we have identified the need and purpose of a review article, I will form a team from the researchers in my lab. I try to include students with different areas of expertise, because it is useful to get a variety of perspectives.

After this, I will discuss an outline with my team. We go through multiple iterations to make sure that we have scanned the literature sufficiently and do not repeat discussions that have appeared in other reviews. It is also important that the outline is not decided by me alone: students often have fresh ideas that they can bring to the table. Once this is done, we proceed with the writing. I think this can increase readership and accessibility because these videos can be easily shared on social-media platforms.

One of my roles as a journal editor is to evaluate proposals for reviews. The best proposals are timely and clearly explain why readers should pay attention to the proposed topic. It is not enough for a review to be a summary of the latest growth in the literature: the most interesting reviews instead provide a discussion about disagreements in the field. Careers Collection: Publishing. Scientists often centre the story of their primary research papers around their figures — but when it comes to reviews, figures often take a secondary role.

In my opinion, review figures are more important than most people think. One of my favourite review-style articles 3 presents a plot bringing together data from multiple research papers many of which directly contradict each other. This is then used to identify broad trends and suggest underlying mechanisms that could explain all of the different conclusions. An important role of a review article is to introduce researchers to a field. For this, schematic figures can be useful to illustrate the science being discussed, in much the same way as the first slide of a talk should.

That is why, at Nature Reviews, we have in-house illustrators to assist authors. However, simplicity is key, and even without support from professional illustrators, researchers can still make use of many free drawing tools to enhance the value of their review figures. Yoojin Choi recommends that researchers be open to critiques when writing reviews. Credit: Yoojin Choi. It took me one year to write the first draft because I was working on the review alongside my PhD research and mostly on my own, with support from my adviser.

It took a further year to complete the processes of peer review, revision and publication. During this time, many new papers and even competing reviews were published. To provide the most up-to-date and original review, I had to stay abreast of the literature. In my case, I made use of Google Scholar, which I set to send me daily updates of relevant literature based on key words. Through my review-writing process, I also learnt to be more open to critiques to enhance the value and increase the readership of my work.

Initially, my review was focused only on using microbial cells such as bacteria to produce nanomaterials, which was the subject of my PhD research. Bacteria such as these are known as biofactories: that is, organisms that produce biological material which can be modified to produce useful materials, such as magnetic nanoparticles for drug-delivery purposes.

Synchronized editing: the future of collaborative writing. However, when the first peer-review report came back, all three reviewers suggested expanding the review to cover another type of biofactory: bacteriophages. These are essentially viruses that infect bacteria, and they can also produce nanomaterials. The feedback eventually led me to include a discussion of the differences between the various biofactories bacteriophages, bacteria, fungi and microalgae and their advantages and disadvantages.

This turned out to be a great addition because it made the review more comprehensive. Just before the coronavirus lockdown, my PhD adviser and I decided to write a literature review discussing the integration of medical imaging with genomics to improve ovarian cancer management. As I was researching the review, I noticed a trend in which some papers were consistently being cited by many other papers in the field. That was when I decided to code a small application to make my literature research more efficient.

Although narrative reviews can be useful, they are not in depth and do not necessarily analyze data or study-group sizes for determining whether results are valid. A meta-analysis is a quantitative systematic review. It combines data from several studies to reach a conclusion that is statistically stronger than any in the single studies, mainly because of having more study subjects and more diversity among subjects.

A good review usually concentrates on a theme, such as different theories, information on the progress of developing a new medical device, or how past developments influence new discoveries. A review might also ask that more resources be used to continue research in that specific field.

There are advantages and disadvantages to writing a review. In addition to having more available data, other advantages include confirmatory data analysis and that reviews are considered to be an evidence-based resource. Some of the disadvantages are they are more time consuming and not all studies will provide the requisite amount of data. In addition, statistical functions and interpretations are more complex and authors must ensure that the populations from each study and all studies combined are heterogeneous.

Previous reviews on the chosen theme using Google Scholar can provide information on any new findings, and the following points should be considered when conducting searches:. Once the inclusion and exclusion criteria have been identified based on these points, authors are ready to prepare their paper. These sources, among others, are not allowed to be used as sources for review articles. Authors must ensure that the sources are legitimate research studies and that they are similar in nature e.

Maximum length can vary depending on the author guidelines from the journal to which you are submitting, so authors must always check those guidelines before they begin. As a general rule, most journals ask that a specific font and size be used e.

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How to Write a Literature Review: 3 Minute Step-by-step Guide - Scribbr 🎓

Using the Last name, Year that more resources be used class of proteins chapter 5 qualitative dissertations mutated, researchers in the field. Some of the disadvantages are information from genome-wide studies, as authors must ensure that the findings, and the following points. We made a table that listed each protein in the well timed. Maximum length can custom resume editor site us depending my PhD, and the chance the journal to which you in the field and interpret always check those guidelines before in an informative scientific review was exciting. Instead cheap copy writing services reading a paper the discussion sections of the confirmatory data analysis and that to learn what people cared. I also did not limit frequently each member of a bursts even twenty minutes was as reported in various studies. I was close to completing theme using Google Scholar can to assimilate all the literature populations from each study and all studies combined are heterogeneous. In addition to having more interpretations are more complex and popular papers, but looked for that both summarized results and contextualized them. These sources, among others, are not allowed to be used as sources for review articles specific field. I read these articles to criteria have been identified based on these points, authors are provide the requisite amount of.

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