Review articles of good quality are frequently needed in the presence of the growing number of research papers as a way of helping to organize some aspect of the entire field, often focusing specifically on theory development or evaluation. A review article is expected to provide a summary and/or a synthesis of the findings of selected research contributions being published by other authors. The main purpose of a review article is to examine the current state of the relevant publications on a given topic and to initiate a discussion about the research methodologies and the findings related to the topic. Therefore, a review article should contain a comprehensive list of supporting references being thoroughly cited in the text.
The structure of a review article will differ from the structure of a regular paper due to the optional omission of some basic sections such as Methods, Results, or Discussion.
Review articles will be generally evaluated on:
- The number and significance of the publications reviewed;
- The extent to which the article can be used to support the development, or evaluation of a theoretical framework;
- The knowledge and competence of the review author(s) with regard to the subject area under review, as evidenced by the acuity of the observations;
- The objectivity of the review author(s) in assessing a cross-section of related publications or theories without bias as to selection or analysis;
- The balance between tables or figures and narrative text used by the author(s) in presenting their summaries and observations;
- The ability of the author(s) to draw connections/distinctions among the results being reported, and to present that information in the form of a coherent discussion; and
- Any suggestions provided for future areas of research that flow from the papers reviewed.