Friday, 19 June 2009

Get Your Research Published! Part 2: How to Write a Review Article

Hi All,

Today's post is a step-by-step guide on how to write the type of review article that will get published. Review articles examine literature that has been published on a particular topic. They are good to write for two reasons:

1. If you've written a literature review as part of your thesis or dissertation, much of the groundwork for writing a review article has already been completed (there is much remodelling involved, however).

2. Review articles are often very highly cited because they give a comprehensive overview of the topic in question. This is good for your H-Index!

Step 1 -- Summarise

This is merely the first step!! Try to focus on seminal publications and those which detail new developments in the field.

Step 2 -- Synthesise
  • Draw out the implications of what you’ve read
  • Ask yourself: “so what?”
  • Arrange information in a meaningful way
  • Go from the micro (what individual publications say) to the macro (what the literature says as a whole)
  • Where are the gaps? How are you going to fill them?

Step 3 -- Analyse

  • Don’t take arguments at face value – scrutinise them!
  • Use the REVIEW criteria to stay on track:
    - Relevance (Is it central to my topic or peripheral?)
    - Expertise of author (Are they highly cited? Well respected?)
    - Viewpoint of author/organisation (Are there any affiliations that would bias the research?)
    - Intended audience (Is it aimed at an academic audience or the general public?)
    - Evidence (Are sources cited correctly and consistently? Does the evidence support the conclusions reached?)
    - When published (is the information up to date?)

Step 4 -- 'Authorise'

  • How is your interpretation of the literature going to contribute to the field?
    - Theoretical contributions?
    - Practical contributions?
  • Are you going to:
    - Extend the body of knowledge that exists?
    - Purposefully depart from it?
  • Reviewers are looking for fresh insights!

This last step is the most important of all -- it will set you apart from others attempting to get their research published!

Stay tuned for next week's instalment which is on finding literature review models.



1 comment:

martha said...
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