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BIOS 332 Behavioral Neuroanatomy Spring 2024

Prof. Jennifer Swann

Finding Scholarly Articles that are "Review Articles"


"Review articles" are a type of scholarly article that gives a bird's eye view of the latest developments in a field or niche within a field. They can contain valuable bibliography. .

The titles of these articles often have a more generic quality than the titles of  articles reporting very specific research findings. For example, compare these titles:

  • Physiological responses of coastal and oceanic diatoms to diurnal fluctuations in seawater carbonate chemistry under two CO2 concentrations
  • History of Seawater Carbonate Chemistry, Atmospheric CO2, and Ocean Acidification

Which sounds more like a review article?

To see what goes into writing a review article, take a look at Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review (from Computational Biology


Look for the ability to restrict to review articles in the databases you use; for example, Web of Science allows this. 

After doing a Web of Science search, limit your results to just “review” articles. If you already did a Web of Science search while doing the class exercise and forget the search you ran, go to search history (upper right) in Web of Science and click on the search you already ran. Then, in the search results look under “document type” on the left and limit the results to review articles. 

Also try Annual Reviews to find review articles.  Tip:  sort the search results in descending date order so you see the most recent articles for your topic. 

Another source (among others!) of review articles is the following database, which is dedicated to this type of article.  Tip:  sort the search results in descending date order so you see the most recent articles for your topic.)

Google Scholar also lets you narrow to review articles. After running a search, look for the review articles link on the left to narrow the results. Make sure you are getting journal review articles, not book reviews.

In Medline you can also search for review articles: