Ten simple rules for writing a literature review

When searching the literature for pertinent papers and reviews, the usual rules apply: Take Notes While Reading If you read the papers first, and only afterwards start writing the review, you will need a very good memory to remember who wrote what, and what your impressions and associations were while reading each single paper.

Ten simple rules for writing a literature review

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Literature reviews are in great demand in most scientific fields. Their need stems from the ever-increasing output of scientific publications [1]. For example, compared toin three, eight, and forty times more papers were indexed in Web of Science on malaria, obesity, and biodiversity, respectively [2].

Given such mountains of papers, scientists cannot be expected to examine in detail every single new paper relevant to their interests [3]. Thus, it is both advantageous and necessary to rely on regular summaries of the recent literature. Although recognition for scientists mainly comes from primary research, timely literature reviews can lead to new synthetic insights and are often widely read [4].

ten simple rules for writing a literature review

For such summaries to be useful, however, they need to be compiled in a professional way [5]. When starting from scratch, reviewing the literature can require a titanic amount of work. That is why researchers who have spent their career working on a certain research issue are in a perfect position to review that literature.

Some graduate schools are now offering courses in reviewing the literature, given that most research students start their project by producing an overview of what has already been done on their research issue [6].

However, it is likely that most scientists have not thought in detail about how to approach and carry out a literature review.

Reviewing the literature requires the ability to juggle multiple tasks, from finding and evaluating relevant material to synthesising information from various sources, from critical thinking to paraphrasing, evaluating, and citation skills [7].

In this contribution, I share ten simple rules I learned working on about 25 literature reviews as a PhD and postdoctoral student. Ideas and insights also come from discussions with coauthors and colleagues, as well as feedback from reviewers and editors. Define a Topic and Audience How to choose which topic to review?

There are so many issues in contemporary science that you could spend a lifetime of attending conferences and reading the literature just pondering what to review. On the one hand, if you take several years to choose, several other people may have had the same idea in the meantime. On the other hand, only a well-considered topic is likely to lead to a brilliant literature review [8].

The topic must at least be: Ideas for potential reviews may come from papers providing lists of key research questions to be answered [9]but also from serendipitous moments during desultory reading and discussions.

In addition to choosing your topic, you should also select a target audience. In many cases, the topic e. Search and Re-search the Literature After having chosen your topic and audience, start by checking the literature and downloading relevant papers.

Five pieces of advice here: The chances are high that someone will already have published a literature review Figure 1if not exactly on the issue you are planning to tackle, at least on a related topic. If there are already a few or several reviews of the literature on your issue, my advice is not to give up, but to carry on with your own literature review.1.

PLoS Comput Biol. ;9(7):e doi: /r-bridal.com Epub Jul Ten simple rules for writing a literature review. In this contribution, I share ten plain rules I learned working on about 25 literature reviews as a PhD and postdoctoral student. Ideas and insights also come from discussions with coauthors and colleagues, as well as feedback from reviewers and editors.

In this contribution, I share ten simple rules I learned working on about 25 literature reviews as a PhD and postdoctoral student. Ideas and insights also come from discussions with coauthors and colleagues, as well as feedback from reviewers and editors. Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review Marco Pautasso1,2* 1 Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CEFE), CNRS, Montpellier, France, 2 Centre for Biodiversity Synthesis and Analysis (CESAB), FRB, Aix-en-Provence, France Literature reviews are in great demand literature just pondering what to review.

ten simple rules for writing a literature review

For more information about PLOS Subject Areas, click here. We want your feedback. Do these Subject Areas make sense for this article? Click the target next to the incorrect Subject Area and let us know.

Ten Simple Rules for Writing a PLOS Ten Simple Rules Article: Ten Simple Rules for Writing Research Papers: Some rules of good scientific writing: Ten Simple Rules for Reviewers: Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review. DOI: /r-bridal.com Marco Pautasso.

Research Tools: Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review