science review paper

Due to migration of article submission systems, please check the status of your submitted manuscript in the relevant system below:

When authors co-submit and publish a method article in MethodsX, it appears on ScienceDirect linked to the original research article in this journal.

There are many different types of reviews, for example, reviews of methods or historical reviews. You will probably be writing the most common and useful review (for a health practitioner): The State of the Art Review — “A state-of-the-art review presents an up-to-date, interpretative synthesis of our knowledge of a certain subject or issue, with emphasis on the most recent literature. For example, an author might look at what is currently known about the advantages and disadvantages of a particular surgical method for mastectomy, or a particular chemotherapy regime in the treatment of breast cancer.” –“How and Why Biologists Write”, Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences, McMillan, 2006, 114 (bolding added).

What is a Review paper? According to the APA (2001, 7): “Review articles, including meta-analyses, are critical evaluations of material that has already been published. By organizing, integrating, and evaluating previously published material, the author of a review article considers the progress of current research toward clarifying a problem. In a sense, a review article is tutorial in that the author.

defines and clarifies the problem; summarizes previous investigations in order to inform the reader of the state of current research; identifies relations, contradictions, gaps, and inconsistencies in the literature; and suggests the next step or steps in solving the problem.”

Your Assignment : To help prepare you to read reviews for pretty much the rest of your medical career AND prepare the introduction to your thesis (not the publishable version!), you will write a review paper covering the topics implied by the research question in your thesis. There are two approaches to this assignment. First, you can write the review with eventual publication (or some other use) in mind. Students in this class have published their reviews (not many, but it does happen) and their work has been used by their labs as part of the groundwork for new students. In at least one instance, the PI was so impressed with the review that the student was asked to draft the intro to the publishable version based on the work.

Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

HOW TO WRITE THE PAPER.

Click here for advice on choosing a topic.

The emphasis of a review paper is interpreting the primary literature on the subject. You need to read several original research articles on the same topic and make your own conclusions about the meanings of those papers.

Only some of the submitted papers are reviewed in depth. For in-depth review, at least two outside referees are consulted. Reviewers are contacted before being sent a paper and are asked to return comments within 1 to 2 weeks for most papers. Reviewers may be selected to evaluate separate components of a manuscript. Science now gives the opportunity for cross-review. Once all reviews are in, you will be invited to read the other reviews and make additional comments within 2 business days. Cross-review is not required. If we do not receive comments we will proceed based on the reviews in hand. In cases where the decision is clear we may proceed without cross-review, in these cases you will be sent the other reviews for your information. We greatly appreciate the time spent in preparing a review, and will consult you on a revision of a manuscript only if we believe the paper has been significantly improved but still requires input. The final responsibility for decisions of acceptance or rejection of a submitted manuscript lies with the editor.

Download Science ‘s Instructions for Reviewers (PDF Format)

As a peer reviewer for Science magazine, you are part of a valued community. Scientific progress depends on the communication of information that can be trusted, and the peer review process is a vital part of that system.

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If the research presented in the paper has serious flaws, I am inclined to recommend rejection, unless the shortcoming can be remedied with a reasonable amount of revising. Also, I take the point of view that if the author cannot convincingly explain her study and findings to an informed reader, then the paper has not met the burden for acceptance in the journal. – Walsh.

I never use value judgments or value-laden adjectives. Nothing is “lousy” or “stupid,” and nobody is “incompetent.” However, as an author your data might be incomplete, or you may have overlooked a huge contradiction in your results, or you may have made major errors in the study design. That’s what I communicate, with a way to fix it if a feasible one comes to mind. Hopefully, this will be used to make the manuscript better rather than to shame anyone. Overall, I want to achieve an evaluation of the study that is fair, objective, and complete enough to convince both the editor and the authors that I know something about what I’m talking about. I also try to cite a specific factual reason or some evidence for any major criticisms or suggestions that I make. After all, even though you were selected as an expert, for each review the editor has to decide how much they believe in your assessment. – Callaham.

It can take me quite a long time to write a good review, sometimes a full day of work and sometimes even longer. The detailed reading and the sense-making process, in particular, takes a long time. Also, sometimes I notice that something is not quite right but can’t quite put my finger on it until I have properly digested the manuscript. – Selenko.

Bear in mind that one of the most dangerous traps a reviewer can fall into is failing to recognize and acknowledge their own bias. To me, it is biased to reach a verdict on a paper based on how groundbreaking or novel the results are, for example. Such judgments have no place in the assessment of scientific quality, and they encourage publication bias from journals as well as bad practices from authors to produce attractive results by cherry picking. Also, I wouldn’t advise early-career researchers to sign their reviews, at least not until they either have a permanent position or otherwise feel stable in their careers. Although I believe that all established professors should be required to sign, the fact is that some authors can hold grudges against reviewers. We like to think of scientists as objective truth-seekers, but we are all too human and academia is intensely political, and a powerful author who receives a critical review from a more junior scientist could be in a position to do great harm to the reviewer’s career prospects. – Chambers.

First , there should be a concise summary. (Did I say concise? I really meant that.) Ideally, each section of the body gets a SINGLE sentence of summary. Your task as the writer is to pull out the main, “take away” idea and write it one last time. The reader can always go back to the text if they need to.

One move is to exemplify the main ideas using individual studies . Thus, the pattern is to discuss the study and some of its main points, meaning only 1 or 2 sources will be used in the paragraph. These discussions are often made using author-driven sentences, e.g. ” McConnel et al. found that drunk rats took signficiantly longer to make their way through the maze than rats injected with saline or rats high on amphematines, concluding that alcohol has a more detrimental effect on gross motor executive functioning (McConnel et al., 2010)”.

(Option: HERE is an outline for you to copy/paste into the word processing program of your choosing)

Articles should be of sufficient scientific interest and help to advance the fundamental understanding of ongoing research, applied or theoretical, for a general computer science audience. The treatment of each topic should be more than a catalogue of known results. Emphasis should be on clarity and originality of presentation and each survey should add insight to the topic under review.

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When authors co-submit and publish a method article in MethodsX, it appears on ScienceDirect linked to the original research article in this journal.

As you read the information in your bibliography, you’ll want to take notes. Some teachers recommend taking notes on note cards. Each card contains the source at the top, with key points listed or quoted underneath. Others prefer typing notes directly into a word processor. No matter how you take notes, be sure to keep track of the sources for all your key facts.

The purpose of your research paper is to give you the information to understand why your experiment turns out the way it does. The research paper should include:

As you do your research, follow your background research plan and take notes from your sources of information. These notes will help you write a better summary.

The short answer is that the research paper is a report summarizing the answers to the research questions you generated in your background research plan.