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How to Write a Review Article

Qualifications for Writing Review Articles

The person who is qualified to write a review article about a specific topic is someone who:

  1. is highly knowledgeable of the topic
  2. is familial with the history of the research topic
  3. keeps up with the advance in the topic area
  4. well-read in the topic area and related areas
  5. is highly analytical when reading articles
  6. is highly critical when appraising the findings in published articles
  7. is open-minded and does not have a biased agenda to promote a specific point of view

Questions to Consider Before Writing a Review Article

Decision matrix on whether you should write a review article

Question #1: Why do I want write a review article?

  • Answer: ? (unsure)-Don’t do it;
  • Answer: It will be timely and interest to others-continue to Question 2.

Question #2: Has the topic been reviewed by others recently?

  • Answer: Yes-Don’t do it;
  • Answer: No-Continue to Question 3.

Question #3: Will your review provide significant amount of fresh information and ideas?

  • Answer: Yes-Do it;
  • Answer: Not sure-Further literature research is needed;
  • Answer: Not really-Don’t do it.

Graphic by Zhiyong Han, PhD

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