Get familiar with software like Papers or any other PDF-management softwareEndNote and Adobe Illustrator or whatever graphics program the journal suggests.
First, I found the most recent papers on the topic and went through them, picking out what looked like important references. However, I am keenly aware of other cases that did not work out nearly as congenially. After that, I transitioned to full-time reading and writing.
This usually is done by following the permissions instructions on the website of the journal in which the original figure appeared. Look for areas that have not yet been thoroughly reviewed or areas for which you think you have a fresh take on old data.
Distilling all sorts of data from experiments done by scientists all around the world into a coherent story turned out to be very satisfying. I hope the following tips will help other scientists who find themselves in this kind of uncharted territory.
I was running a protein over a nickel column on a Sunday evening in February when my adviser approached me about co-authoring a review article for Annual Review of Biochemistry. He or she is your target audience and will let you know if there are sections that need to be revised for clarity.
Your labmates and collaborators are invaluable resources. My adviser and I settled on devoting the first half of our article to a broad survey of a few key research topics for example, the physical details of the caspase-substrate interaction and devoting the second half to a few highly detailed vignettes about some of the hundreds of known caspase substrates.
I did this by hand on paper; an Excel spreadsheet also would work. This was advice my adviser gave me about a month before the due date, when he could tell that my brain and my PDF library were so overflowing with data that I was struggling with actually producing any text.
I tried to reassure myself by remembering that I had been rather good at writing term papers in college; but this was a larger task and one with the potential for having an impact on someone, somewhere, sometime who wanted to learn about caspase substrates. Another strategy is to give part or all of your article to a first-year graduate student or to a scientist in a slightly different field.
That was fine with me — as a fifth-year graduate student, I had learned to cope with, and even prefer, extreme independence. Make an outline, keep lists of topics that are and are not within your scope, and remind yourself to stop any time your reading wanders outside your scope.
I would have to assess the limits imposed by the journal 30 pages, six months as well as my own limits and the necessity to balance the writing project with lab work that was essential to finishing my Ph. Pay very close attention to the graphical requirements for figures. On days when I struggled with concentration, I often used a timer to structure my day.
I worked my way backward to a set of about 10 key papers.
Then I quickly read and made a summary for each, usually in the form of a bulleted list of the conclusions drawn from each figure. On the other hand, with the Internet and all my PDFs in front of me, I tended to generate sentences that were very dense with information but not necessarily closely related to each other — and not always pertinent to the specific scientific narratives I was attempting to compose.
Narrowing the scope of the article to conform to these boundaries was perhaps the biggest challenge of this process. Impose some structure on the mess that is the scientific literature. Each research article was one row arranged by publication dateand the columns were results or conclusions reached.
In the end, I finished by the deadline well, plus one two-week extension the editor agreed to grant me and was very happy with the product and with all I had learned about caspase substrates, about the scientific literature and about the review-writing process.
Tips for writing your first scientific literature review article BY Emily Crawford Emily Crawford often retreated to her apartment rooftop in San Francisco to write her review. Be careful not to let this lead you too far astray.Why do we write literature reviews? Literature reviews provide you with a handy guide to a particular topic.
If you have limited time to conduct research, literature reviews can give you an overview or act as a stepping stone. What should I do before writing the literature review?
Clarify. If your assignment is not very specific, seek.
When I undertook the task of writing a scientific literature review article last year, I had hoped that a Google search would reveal a handful of how-to pages thoughtfully created by veterans of this particular writing process. A literature review may constitute an essential chapter of a thesis or dissertation, or may be a self-contained review of writings on a subject.
In either case, its purpose is to: Place each work in the context of its contribution to the understanding of the subject under review.
How to Write a Mini Literature Review A literature review is a piece of discursive prose, not a list describing or summarizing one piece of literature after another.
This page features a discussion of each of the following components of writing a scientific review article: Choosing a topic and finding articles; What questions to answer in your review; Which sections to include and tips for writing them; Other tips and tricks are featured underneath this box.
Here you have a to-do list to help you write your review: A scientific literature review usually includes a title, abstract, index, introduction, corpus, bibliography, and appendices (if needed). Present the problem clearly.
Mention the paper’s methodology, research methods, analysis, instruments, etc.Download