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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

EES 325 Fall 2019

Review Articles

DEFINITION


"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 help provide background information or context that helps in learning about a specific field of research. Plus 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 


HOW TO FIND REVIEW ARTICLES


After doing a search in a library database, scan over the results for items that look as if they will provide a review of a field. 

A more systematic way to search for review articles is to look for the ability to restrict to review articles in the databases you use; for example, Web of Science allows this. After running a search in Web of Science, you can limit the search results by looking  under “document type” on the left and limiting the results to review articles.    

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.