Writing a narrative biomedical review: considerations for authors, peer reviewers, and editors
- 2.5k Downloads
Review articles comprehensively covering a specific topic are crucial for successful research and academic projects. Most editors consider review articles for special and regular issues of journals. Writing a review requires deep knowledge and understanding of a field. The aim of this review is to analyze the main steps in writing a narrative biomedical review and to consider points that may increase the chances of success. We performed a comprehensive search through MEDLINE, EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science using the following keywords: review of the literature, narrative review, title, abstract, authorship, ethics, peer review, research methods, medical writing, scientific writing, and writing standards. Opinions expressed in the review are also based on personal experience as authors, peer reviewers, and editors.
KeywordsNarrative review Title Abstract Authorship Ethics Peer-review Research methods Medical writing
The authors thank Dr. Dimitri P. Mikhailidis, academic head of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry (Vascular Prevention Clinic), Royal Free Hospital, University College London Medical School, University College London (UCL), London, United Kingdom, and Dr. Jayashree Shanker, head of Functional Genomics Department, Thrombosis Research Institute, Bangalore, India, for critical comments and editing of the final version of the review. AYG and GDK thank the Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK (A Teaching Trust of University of Birmingham, UK), for support.
Conflict of interest
AYG is a sponsored member of the European Association of Science Editors and member of the World Association of Medical Editors. He also serves as an editorial advisory board member and reviewer of more than 20 rheumatological, cardiological and general medical journals.
LA declares no conflict of interest.
HB is a member of the University of Cambridge British Heart Foundation 4-year PhD programme in Cardiovascular Research.
GDK is editorial board member of 5 international journals and reviewer for more than 30 international journals and research funding bodies.
- 1.Gasparyan AY, Banach M (2009) A medium of science communication in our times. Arch Med Sci 5:1–2Google Scholar
- 2.http://publicationethics.org/guidelines. Accessed 15 Oct 2010
- 4.Werbin N (2005) [Review articles–to write, to read or to throw away?]. Harefauh 144:558–560, 598 (Hebrew)Google Scholar
- 5.Habibi E, Mirhosseini Z, Majidi M (2010) Medical publications (2002–2009) of islamic countries; a Medline-based study compared to non-islamic countries. Iran J Med Sci 35:226–235Google Scholar
- 6.Smith R (2006) The trouble with medical journals. J R Soc Med 99:115–119Google Scholar
- 7.http://www.icmje.org/ethical_1author.html. Accessed 15 Oct 2010
- 9.EASE guidelines for authors and translators of scientific articles to be published in English. http://www.ease.org.uk/pdfguidelines/AuthorGuidelinesHighRes.pdf. Accessed 24 Nov 2010
- 11.Luo YH (2010) How to write an effective English title for an andrological paper? Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue 16:99–105Google Scholar
- 25.Salari Sharif P, Abdollahi M (2010) The role of platelets in bone remodeling. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets 9:393–399Google Scholar
- 31.Jacques SJ, Sebire NJ (2010) The impact of article titles on citation hits: an analysis of general and specialist medical journals. J R Soc Med Sh Rep 1:2. doi: 10.1258/shorts.2009.100020
- 37.Salari Sharif P, Abdollahi M, Larijani B (2010) Current, new and future treatments of osteoporosis. Rheumatol Int 31:289–300Google Scholar
- 39.Cleary M, Hunt GE, Horsfall J (2009) Conducting efficient literature searches. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv 47:34–41Google Scholar
- 44.Falagas ME, Pitsouni EI, Malietzis GA, Pappas G (2008) Comparison of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar: strengths and weaknesses. FASEB J 22:338–42 Google Scholar
- 45.http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/home. Accessed 26 Oct 2010
- 46.http://extranet.who.int/hinari/en/journals.php. Accessed 26 Oct 2010
- 53.Drazen JM, de Leeuw PW, Laine C, Mulrow C, DeAngelis CD, Frizelle FA, Godlee F, Haug C, Hébert PC, James A, Kotzin S, Marusic A, Reyes H, Rosenberg J, Sahni P, Van der Weyden MB, Zhaori G (2010) Toward more uniform conflict disclosures—the updated ICMJE conflict of interest reporting form. N Engl J Med 363:188–189PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar