What is an article review?

Article review is a scientific method, the purpose of which is to acquaint the reader with the results of studies, ideas, and discussions on various topics in a condensed form. In fact, it is the collection, analysis, and discussion of published information on a particular topic.

Existing ideas about such a complex concept, which is a review, a scientific text, are ambiguous. There is no single and final interpretation of the definition of the scientific review, but there are examples of it:
  • Scientific review is a text containing concentrated information obtained as a result of selection, analysis, systematization, and logical generalization from a large number of primary sources on a certain topic, for a certain period of time.
  • The review is a consistent presentation of the most important information on a certain topic on the basis of generalization and evaluation of information for a certain period.
  • The review is a synthesized text that contains generalized information on a specific issue or problem, based on the use of information obtained from primary sources for a certain period of time.
  • Review is a text containing synthesized consolidated information on a specific issue or series of issues, taken from selected primary scientific sources published for this purpose.

Review articles, according to the existing concepts, consult other scientific literature, dedicated to the analysis, generalization, and assessment of data that is present in the main scientific literature, connected by a general topic, i.e. texts of scientific literary that were before published and contain the results of initail research, prior reports and other sources that satisfy the requirements of the initial publication. New concepts, theories, hypotheses, and paradigms are often developed in review articles on the basis of synthetic and analytical interpretation of the original research results.

The authors of scientific reviews should bear in mind that the primary scientific literature does not include publications in the form of reports on the results of studies performed under contracts with government (ministries, agencies, etc.) or non-governmental organizations.

A review is a useful tool available, especially for students and graduate students. Article reviews perform certain functions in the field of the development of science and technology, such as:
  • Systematization of disparate knowledge
  • Collection of information on the status of the issue, literature review, comparison of information from different sources
  • Review of new knowledge indicating trends in the development of this knowledge
  • Identification of new research areas
  • Review of promising ideas

The literature review is a painstaking study of bibliography and other materials that are useful for research purposes and from which it is possible to extract the necessary information pertaining to the research problem. The review is always selective: thousands of scientific articles are published daily in the world, and among them, only the most important and recent publications on this topic should be selected.

How to write a review?

An article review requires careful preparation and following the main stages in the work on it, which are as follows:
  • Correct definition of the subject and topic
  • Development of a work plan
  • Search for literature
  • Selection and access to documents
  • Enrichment of documentation through personal exchanges
  • Analysis of documents
  • Generalization of information
  • Writing a review article
Before writing a review article, select the review form. They are as follows:
  • An exhaustive review is a commentary to a bibliography that does not offer accurate, exhaustive information for a professional answer to a specific question
  • A descriptive overview gives an idea of the state of constantly developing scientific knowledge to date and is a useful material in educational institutions
  • An evaluation review is an assessment of scientific results for science and society
  • A review of the literature on a particular problem

Next, prepare a script that will help you organize the article. This scenario should precede the work on the text of the review in order to comply with the logic of presentation while writing it. The script is nothing more than a detailed plan drawn up in accordance with the structure of the scientific article.

One of the most common weaknesses in the compilation of reviews is the lack of a logical structure in the articles. If the author has a scientific style of presentation, then its individual parts will be harmoniously and logically coordinated

Once the main sections and the order of their consideration are determined, it is necessary to consider the thesis of the article from the standpoint of its structural organization.

Structure of the review article

An article review is a scientific article that should have a structure accepted in the scientific periodicals. Therefore, the review articles should include the following structural elements:
  • Name. An important element that should interest the reader.
  • Annotation. The annotation gives a general, brief overview of the work. At the time of writing the annotation, the author should have a good idea of what the article will be about and what might be interesting and important to the reader in it. Some authors leave the writing of this section at the end of the work. But if you clearly see all the ideas that will be reflected in the work, you can write it first. At the same time, remember that the annotation is also difficult to read, just like writing, since its size is limited to 200 words.
  • Introduction. Introduction gives the reader information about the structure and interrelation of the elements of the work, saving his time. If the reader is interested in some separate sections of the review, he will read them.
  • Main part. Remember that the review article is not a bibliographic review. Your task is to show the level of study of the scientific problem, if possible to give a critical assessment of the papers published on the problem under consideration and draw conclusions based on these works.
  • Conclusions. The conclusions of the review article are recommendations for further research or proposals on the introduction of scientific innovations to solve specific problems.

Why to write review articles

Preparation and publication of review articles helps the author expand his scientific horizon. There is a high demand for review articles from publishers and the readership. Choose the topic of the review article in the field of your scientific interests. This will help you better study, understand, and maybe find something new in their work. If the article review is interesting, useful, and enjoyable to readers, this will lead to an increase in the references to your work.

Recently, more and more review articles are published in the materials of congresses and conferences. Many narrow-profile journals place custom (and not only ordered) review articles at the first position of the new number. Scientific reviews are traditional components of monographs, dissertations, scientific and technical reports. Articles of a survey nature are published by leading scientific and popular journals.

The existing variety of publications publishing overview information convincingly demonstrates its important role in meeting the needs of scientists and specialists. Qualitatively compiled reviews are notable milestones in the history of the development of a scientific problem or branch of science, and the best reviews are logically transformed into monographs. It is no exaggeration to say that many authors of successful monographs have formed their scientific and literary skills in the course of preparing sound and relevant scientific reviews.

Areas of application of scientific reviews are diverse. They are a compulsory section of scientific and qualification works, the authors of which are applying for the degree, components of diploma papers, reports on research. They write scientific reviews, as individual scientists who are employees of scientific organizations and universities, as well as analysts of scientific research centers of large industrial structures, experts in the field of informatics and bibliography. For the scientist to receive the editorial board’s offer to prepare a review article on the most relevant and modern achievements in its field of science, it is very prestigious.

However, not only eminent authors can write reviews (and write), but also young scientists. And often, at a very decent level. Review scientific articles are written not only on the orders of editorial offices of magazines or other publications, but also on their own initiative. And such reviews are written both by well-known scientists and novice authors, on topics of their personal interest. Such review articles, prepared at the proper scientific and literary level, have every chance and the right to be published. Among the scientific periodicals are authoritative peer-reviewed journals that publish only review articles or special issues of journals, in which they publish the contents of reports of a survey nature presented at scientific forums. The authors of the review articles should remember that the probability of their publication depends largely on the reviews presented on them, and careful consideration of opinions, comments and recommendations of reviewers will significantly improve the original version of the review both in fact and in the style of writing his text.

Scientific reviews confidently occupy a very prestigious place in the ranking of citing publications. The quoting of a good scientific review repeatedly exceeds the quoting of even very significant original articles. Scientific review articles based on bibliometric criteria are cited at least as often as the most breakthrough primary publications. The probability of quoting a survey publication is halved in 10 years, and the original article is reduced to just 3 years.

Undoubtedly significant but not enough discussed in the context of the analysis of the role and place of scientific reviews in the system of information and analytical texts are literary reviews of scientific and qualification works, i.e. dissertations. At the same time, tens of thousands of dissertations are being worked on every year. It takes several years to prepare each dissertation. In all dissertations, the Literary Review chapter is a mandatory section. Its volume can vary from 20–25 pages in PhD theses to 60–80 pages in doctoral dissertations. The preparation of the review on the topic of the dissertation is a big and by no means simple work, which lasts many months, and often even years. And according to the existing provisions, the thesis is a manuscript and, therefore, is not a published scientific text. The thesis abstract, despite the typographical way of replication, also has the rights of the manuscript.

As a result, official opponents, reviewers, members of dissertational, and expert councils, and some part of the scientific community interested in viewing the sites on which the dissertations are posted have the opportunity to get acquainted with the results of the long hard work on writing the lithograph. This clearly does not meet the interests of applicants for academic degrees, nor the development of science and education. How should one act to change this state of affairs? And the answer is that the dissertation literary reviews in full or in part (this is more the case with doctoral dissertations) needs to be transformed into journal review articles that can be published both in review editions and in profile journals.

Emotional purpose of writing a review

Finally, do not forget about how your article review should influence the reader. Usually there are three options:
  • Advertising action (a selling text)
  • Informative action (as much as possible of new data)
  • Entertaining action (more humor, emotions, illustrations, but new data should still be, albeit in a smaller amount)

If you keep all this in mind, then there is a chance that you will get a good review, which will not tell the reader a million times that the apple is round, and it’s impossible to cook soul without a saucepan, but will give him interesting reading and positive emotions. And you will get a sense of satisfaction from the fact that you help fill the internet with useful content, for which someone will thank you.

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