Skip to main content

Biology: Review Articles

Review Articles

What is a review article? 

Review articles give you a summary of research on a topic. 

Why would you use review articles in research? 

You can find out about current trends in research.

Why are review articles are a good place to start your research?

Besides providing a comprehensive background on the topic they provide numerous references to additional readings and future research ideas.

Locating Review Articles

There are two main ways to locate review articles

(1) the simplest is to search for articles in review journals such as annual reviews.  Other journals that are often comprised primarily of review articles start with title such as Progress in, Trends in, Advances in, etc.

(2) Many of the scientific databases allow users to limit to review articles as a format or document type.  The caution with this is many of the general interest databases use the term for review for book reviews or other reviews.  The database provider should provide information as to how this limiter or field is defined.  

The key to determining whether the article is a "review article" is to see if the article fits that of a "review article", i.e. scholarly with an extensive bibliography that provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of the research on the topic or the “state of the art” on the topic.Generally, these article also show where there are gaps in the research and areas of other potential research or where the research on the topic is headed.

Review Journals

The journals below provide review articles.  In addition review articles may appear in other schiolarly journals and many of the article indexes and databases can also be limited to just finding review articles.