Dive Deep into Medical Insights: Craft a Review Article Today!

Writing a review article in the medical field requires careful planning, thorough research, and adherence to specific guidelines. Here are some general guidelines to help you create a well-structured and informative review article:

1. Choose An Appropriate Topic

  • Select a topic that is relevant, interesting, and adds value to the existing knowledge.
  • Consider the target audience and the significance of the topic in the broader context.

2. Define The Purpose

  • Clearly articulate the purpose of your review.
  • Whether it’s to provide an overview, analyze existing literature, or present a critical evaluation, establishing a clear purpose is essential.

3. Conduct A Thorough Literature Review

  • Summarize key findings from relevant studies, books, or articles.
  • Organize the literature chronologically, thematically, or methodologically, depending on the nature of your review.
  • Numerous search engines and citation databases can assist in locating pertinent references, such as PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus.
  • Additionally, specialized databases like MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library are valuable for in-depth review articles, particularly in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Subscription-based R&D intelligence providers play a role in literature mining within the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Subscribing to content and news alerts from preferred publishers or journals is also recommended to stay abreast of new research in specific fields.

4. Organize The Structure

Follow a clear and logical structure with sections like Abstract, Keywords, introduction, methodology (if applicable), literature review, discussion, conclusion, and references. Use headings and subheadings to organize content within each section.

4.1. Abstract

  • The abstract serves the purpose of succinctly conveying your actions and highlighting significant findings to potential readers.
  • Abstract should be a focused, precise, and concise representation of your work, enabling readers to grasp your actions and discoveries without delving into the entire manuscript. Emphasize key results while minimizing experimental details, ensuring clear presentation of the “what has been done” and the “main findings”.
  • A well-written abstract, free from jargon and uncommon abbreviations, that is interesting and easily comprehensible will capture the interest of reviewers and other readers.

4.2. Keywords

  • Major indexing services like Medline and Google Scholar primarily utilize the words in your manuscript’s title (excluding prepositions) to identify the subject matter in a search. For example: “treatment of acute Guillain-Barré syndrome”, additional key words beyond the title might include plasmapheresis, apheresis, and demyelinating polyneuropathies (AIDP).
  • It’s important to note that abbreviations should not be used as key words unless widely recognized in the relevant field.

4.3. Introduction

  • The introduction serves the crucial purpose of guiding the reader into the field of work, specifically addressing the problem or knowledge gap your research tackles.
  • It also offers an opportunity to engage the reader, providing enough information for an educated but non-specialized reader to comprehend and follow the logical flow of your article.
  • Importantly, it is not intended to be an exhaustive review of the entire field.
  • It is paramount to avoid creating an excessively long introduction that delves into extraneous information and cites too many unrelated references, as this can frustrate the reader and reviewer.
  • Ideally, a focused introduction will typically span up to three paragraphs on one page, addressing the state of the field, the knowledge gap your study aims to fill, and outlining the hypothesis and questions to be addressed.
  • The introduction should only review the field to the extent necessary to contextualize your study.
  • Its goal is to help the reader understand the field, identify the problem you are addressing, and grasp how your methods and results contribute to solving it.

4.4. Main Text

  • The central portion of the review, typically organized into subsections with topic-specific headings, plays a pivotal role in providing an in-depth discussion of research findings pertinent to the overarching subject.
  • It is imperative to present a thorough examination of methodologies, current state, and future aspects from individual research papers within each subsection.
  • Grouping related research papers under the same subheading is essential, and these connections should be clearly elucidated for readers to follow a cohesive narrative.
  • Emphasizing the significance of research findings in the broader context of the reviewed topic is crucial throughout this section.
  • Each subsection should be introduced and concluded independently, with the text well-supported by references. Maintaining a balanced discussion by citing the original articles reporting specific findings is important. Incorporating figures, tables, and other display items aids comprehension and helps break up lengthy textual sections.

4.5. Conclusion

  • The conclusion serves to encapsulate the article by offering a summary of central themes and take-home messages.
  • This section may also incorporate the author’s perspectives on future research directions, key challenges, and outstanding questions within the field. While it is typically presented as continuous prose, the use of a bulleted list may be employed to emphasize key points.
  • Supporting references can be included to strengthen the credibility of the concluding remarks.
  • This comprehensive approach ensures that readers leave with a clear understanding of the article’s main findings and implications, while also providing insight into potential avenues for further exploration in the subject matter.
  • If the conclusion is not given its dedicated section, it would be included as the final paragraph in the discussion section, starting with something like “In conclusion, a modified schedule…”

5. Follow Citation Guidelines

  • This section, often titled “References,” compiles a list of all the sources cited in the review article text, figures, or tables.
  • Use a consistent citation style throughout your review.
  • Proper citation style ensures uniformity and facilitates readers’ ability to locate and verify the sources.
  • The formatting of these references should adhere to APA style.
For Example
Journal Articles Gal, A., & Burchell, R. K. (2023). Diabetes Mellitus and the Kidneys. Veterinary     Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 53(3), 565-580.
Books Sapra, A., & Bhandari, P. (2023, June 21). Diabetes. In StatPearls. Retrieved from StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan. Medley, D. M. (1983). Teacher effectiveness. In H. E. Mitzel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of educational research (Vol. 4, pp. 1894-1903). New York: The Free Press.
Conferences/meetings Whipple, W. S. (1977, January). Changing attitude through behavior modification. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, New Orleans, LA. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED146500)
Annual Reports American Psychological Association. (2008). Electronic resources. Retrieved June 17, 2008 from http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html.
  • Identifying the most important references is a somewhat subjective process, but many researchers use article-level metrics to pinpoint the key papers in a research area.
  • As you retrieve and read relevant references, list them in your outline under the appropriate subheading and make notes to keep track of key findings, strengths, weaknesses, controversies and quotes that might be included in your review.
  • Although the reference list supporting an article is usually positioned at the very end, this section should never be considered an afterthought, and you should build your bibliography as you work.
  • There are many reference management tools available to assist in organizing references, ranging from freely available tools such as Zotero to commercial software such as Endnote. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_reference_management_software)

What if you disagree with reviewer’s comments?

Here are some steps to navigate disagreements:

Stay Calm and Objective:

  • Authors may feel defensive, but remaining calm and objective is crucial.
  • Avoid taking comments personally; remember that the goal is to improve the manuscript.

Analyze the Feedback:

  • Carefully review the reviewer’s comments.
  • Consider whether the feedback is valid and whether it aligns with the manuscript’s goals.

Seek Clarification:

  • If a comment is unclear or seems contradictory, seek clarification from the reviewer.
  • Politely ask for specific examples or further explanation.

Provide a Thoughtful Response:

  • Address each comment individually.
  • Acknowledge valid points and explain any areas of disagreement.
  • Provide evidence or rationale for your perspective.

Propose Revisions:

  • Suggest revisions that address both the reviewer’s concerns and your own perspective.
  • Be open to compromise and find common ground.

Use the Cover Letter:

  • In your response to the editor, use the cover letter to explain your revisions.
  • Highlight changes made based on reviewer feedback and provide context for any disagreements.

Remember the Purpose of Peer Review:

  • Peer review aims to improve the quality of the manuscript.
  • Even if you disagree, consider whether the suggested changes enhance the work.

Be Professional and Grateful:

  • Maintain a professional tone in all communications.
  • Express gratitude to the reviewer for their time and insights.

Remember that respectful dialogue between authors and reviewers contributes to the scholarly process. Ultimately, the goal is to enhance the manuscript and contribute to scientific knowledge.