New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Research Protocol or Manuscript 101

by: Rachel Armstrong

Research Protocol or Manuscript 101 NTDT 40403

Rachel Armstrong
GPA 3.0
View Full Document for 0 Karma

View Full Document


Unlock These Notes for FREE

Enter your email below and we will instantly email you these Notes for Research Methods In Nutrition

(Limited time offer)

Unlock Notes

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Unlock FREE Class Notes

Enter your email below to receive Research Methods In Nutrition notes

Everyone needs better class notes. Enter your email and we will send you notes for this class for free.

Unlock FREE notes

About this Document

These notes will show you how to write your literature review for a research paper.
Research Methods In Nutrition
Dr. Stevenson
Class Notes




Popular in Research Methods In Nutrition

Popular in Nutrition and Food Sciences

This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rachel Armstrong on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to NTDT 40403 at Texas Christian University taught by Dr. Stevenson in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see Research Methods In Nutrition in Nutrition and Food Sciences at Texas Christian University.


Reviews for Research Protocol or Manuscript 101


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 02/04/16
Editorial Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review 1,2 Marco Pautasso * 1Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CEFE), CNRS, Montpellier, France, 2Centre for Biodiversity Synthesis and Analysis (CESAB), FRB, Aix-en-Provence, France Literature reviews are in great demand literature just pondering what to review. and downloading relevant papers. Five in most scientific fields. Their need stems On the one hand, if you take several years pieces of advice here: from the ever-increasing output of scien- to choose, several other people may have tific publications [1]. For example, com- (i) keep track of the search items you had the same idea in the meantime. On pared to 1991, in 2008 three, eight, and the other hand, only a well-considered use (so that your search can be forty times more papers were indexed in topic is likely to lead to a brilliant literature replicated [10]), Web of Science on malaria, obesity, and review [8]. The topic must at least be: (ii) keep a list of papers whose pdfs you biodiversity, respectively [2]. Given such cannot access immediately (so as to mountains of papers, scientists cannot be (i) interesting to you (ideally, you retrieve them later with alternative expected to examine in detail every single should have come across a series of strategies), new paper relevant to their interests [3]. recent papers related to your line of (iii) use a paper management system Thus, it is both advantageous and neces- work that call for a critical summa- (e.g., Mendeley, Papers, Qiqqa, sary to rely on regular summaries of the ry), Sente), recent literature. Although recognition for (ii) an important aspect of the field (so (iv) define early in the process some scientists mainly comes from primary that many readers will be interested research, timely literature reviews can lead criteria for exclusion of irrelevant to new synthetic insights and are often in the review and there will be papers (these criteria can then be enough material to write it), and described in the review to help widely read [4]. For such summaries to be (iii) a well-defined issue (otherwise you useful, however, they need to be compiled define its scope), and in a professional way [5]. could potentially include thousands (v) do not just look for research papers of publications, which would make When starting from scratch, reviewing the review unhelpful). in the area you wish to review, but the literature can require a titanic amount also seek previous reviews. of work. That is why researchers who have Ideas for potential reviews may come spent their career working on a certain from papers providing lists of key research The chances are high that someone will research issue are in a perfect position to questions to be answered [9], but also already have published a literature review review that literature. Some graduate (Figure 1), if not exactly on the issue you from serendipitous moments during des- schools are now offering courses in ultory reading and discussions. In addition are planning to tackle, at least on a related reviewing the literature, given that most to choosing your topic, you should also topic. If there are already a few or several research students start their project by reviews of the literature on your issue, my select a target audience. In many cases, the producing an overview of what has topic (e.g., web services in computational advice is not to give up, but to carry on already been done on their research issue biology) will automatically define an with your own literature review, [6]. However, it is likely that most scientists have not thought in detail about audience (e.g., computational biologists), (i) discussing in your review the ap- but that same topic may also be of interest how to approach and carry out a literature proaches, limitations, and conclu- review. to neighbouring fields (e.g., computer sions of past reviews, Reviewing the literature requires the science, biology, etc.). (ii) trying to find a new angle that has ability to juggle multiple tasks, from not been covered adequately in the finding and evaluating relevant material Rule 2: Search and Re-search previous reviews, and to synthesising information from various the Literature (iii) incorporating new material that has sources, from critical thinking to para- After having chosen your topic and inevitably accumulated since their phrasing, evaluating, and citation skills [7]. In this contribution, I share ten simple audience, start by checking the literature appearance. rules I learned working on about 25 literature reviews as a PhD and postdoc- toral student. Ideas and insights also come Citation: Pautasso M (2013) Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review. PLoS Comput Biol 9(7): e1003149. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003149 from discussions with coauthors and colleagues, as well as feedback from Editor: Philip E. Bourne, University of California San Diego, United States of America reviewers and editors. Published July 18, 2013 Copyright: ß 2013 Marco Pautasso. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Rule 1: Define a Topic and Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Audience Funding: This work was funded by the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB) through its Centre for Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity data (CESAB), as part of the NETSEED research project. The How to choose which topic to review? funders had no role in the preparation of the manuscript. There are so many issues in contemporary science that you could spend a lifetime of Competing Interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist. attending conferences and reading the * E-mail: PLOS Computational Biology | 1 July 2013 | Volume 9 | Issue 7 | e1003149 When searching the literature for per- selected, you will already have a rough focusing on the last few years, with a limit tinent papers and reviews, the usual rules draft of the review. on the number of words and citations. A apply: Of course, this draft will still need much mini-review is not necessarily a minor rewriting, restructuring, and rethinking to review: it may well attract more attention (i) be thorough, obtain a text with a coherent argument from busy readers, although it will inevi- (ii) use different keywords and database [11], but you will have avoided the danger tably simplify some issues and leave out sources (e.g., DBLP, Google Schol- posed by staring at a blank document. Be some relevant material due to space ar, ISI Proceedings, JSTOR Search, careful when taking notes to use quotation limitations. A full review will have the Medline, Scopus, Web of Science), marks if you are provisionally copying advantage of more freedom to cover in and verbatim from the literature. It is advisable detail the complexities of a particular (iii) look at who has cited past relevant then to reformulate such quotes with your scientific development, but may then be papers and book chapters. own words in the final draft. It is left in the pile of the very important papers important to be careful in noting the ‘‘to be read’’ by readers with little time to references already at this stage, so as to spare for major monographs. Rule 3: Take Notes While avoid misattributions. Using referencing There is probably a continuum between software from the very beginning of your mini- and full reviews. The same point Reading endeavour will save you time. applies to the dichotomy of descriptive vs. If you read the papers first, and only integrative reviews. While descriptive re- afterwards start writing the review, you views focus on the methodology, findings, Rule 4: Choose the Type of will need a very good memory to remem- Review You Wish to Write and interpretation of each reviewed study, ber who wrote what, and what your integrative reviews attempt to find com- impressions and associations were while After having taken notes while reading mon ideas and concepts from the reviewed reading each single paper. My advice is, the literature, you will have a rough idea material [12]. A similar distinction exists while reading, to start writing down of the amount of material available for the between narrative and systematic reviews: interesting pieces of information, insights review. This is probably a good time to while narrative reviews are qualitative, about how to organize the review, and decide whether to go for a mini- or a full systematic reviews attempt to test a thoughts on what to write. This way, by review. Some journals are now favouring hypothesis based on the published the time you have read the literature you the publication of rather short reviews evidence, which is gathered using a Figure 1. A conceptual diagram of the need for different types of literature reviews depending on the amount of published research papers and literature reviews. The bottom-right situation (many literature reviews but few research papers) is not just a theoretical situation; it applies, for example, to the study of the impacts of climate change on plant diseases, where there appear to be more literature reviews than research studies [33]. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003149.g001 PLOS Computational Biology | 2 July 2013 | Volume 9 | Issue 7 | e1003149 predefined protocol to reduce bias [13,14]. others are very good at identifying dark diversity of views on the draft. This may When systematic reviews analyse quanti- clouds on the horizon, and some have lead in some cases to conflicting views on tative results in a quantitative way, they instead a knack at predicting where the merits of the paper, and on how to become meta-analyses. The choice be- solutions are going to come from. If your improve it, but such a situation is better tween different review types will have to be journal club has exactly this sort of team, than the absence of feedback. A diversity made on a case-by-case basis, depending then you should definitely write a review of feedback perspectives on a literature not just on the nature of the material of the literature! In addition to critical review can help identify where the con- found and the preferences of the target thinking, a literature review needs consis- sensus view stands in the landscape of the journal(s), but also on the time available to tency, for example in the choice of passive current scientific understanding of an issue write the review and the number of vs. active voice and present vs. past tense. [24]. coauthors [15]. Rule 7: Find a Logical Structure Rule 9: Include Your Own Rule 5: Keep the Review Relevant Research, but Be Like a well-baked cake, a good review Focused, but Make It of Broad has a number of telling features: it is worth Objective Interest the reader’s time, timely, systematic, well In many cases, reviewers of the litera- Whether your plan is to write a mini- or written, focused, and critical. It also needs ture will have published studies relevant to a good structure. With reviews, the usual a full review, it is good advice to keep it subdivision of research papers into intro- the review they are writing. This could focused [16,17]. Including material just for create a conflict of interest: how can the sake of it can easily lead to reviews that duction, methods, results, and discussion reviewers report objectively on their own does not work or is rarely used. However, are trying to do too many things at once. a general introduction of the context and, work [25]? Some scientists may be overly The need to keep a review focused can be enthusiastic about what they have pub- problematic for interdisciplinary reviews, toward the end, a recapitulation of the lished, and thus risk giving too much where the aim is to bridge the gap between main points covered and take-home mes- importance to their own findings in the sages make sense also in the case of fields [18]. If you are writing a review on, reviews. For systematic reviews, there is a review. However, bias could also occur in for example, how epidemiological ap- the other direction: some scientists may be proaches are used in modelling the spread trend towards including information about unduly dismissive of their own achieve- how the literature was searched (database, of ideas, you may be inclined to include keywords, time limits) [20]. ments, so that they will tend to downplay material from both parent fields, epidemi- their contribution (if any) to a field when ology and the study of cultural diffusion. How can you organize the flow of the reviewing it. main body of the review so that the reader This may be necessary to some extent, but will be drawn into and guided through it? In general, a review of the literature in this case a focused review would only It is generally helpful to draw a conceptual should neither be a public relations deal in detail with those studies at the brochure nor an exercise in competitive scheme of the review, e.g., with mind- interface between epidemiology and the mapping techniques. Such diagrams can self-denial. If a reviewer is up to the job of spread of ideas. help recognize a logical way to order and producing a well-organized and methodi- While focus is an important feature of a cal review, which flows well and provides a successful review, this requirement has to link the various sections of a review [21]. service to the readership, then it should be This is the case not just at the writing be balanced with the need to make the stage, but also for readers if the diagram is possible to be objective in reviewing one’s review relevant to a broad audience. This own relevant findings. In reviews written square may be circled by discussing the included in the review as a figure. A by multiple authors, this may be achieved careful selection of diagrams and figures wider implications of the reviewed topic relevant to the reviewed topic can be very by assigning the review of the results of a for other disciplines. helpful to structure the text too [22]. coauthor to different coauthors. Rule 6: Be Critical and Rule 8: Make Use of Feedback Rule 10: Be Up-to-Date, but Do Consistent Not Forget Older Studies Reviews of the literature are normally Reviewing the literature is not stamp Given the progressive acceleration in peer-reviewed in the same way as research collecting. A good review does not just papers, and rightly so [23]. As a rule, the publication of scientific papers, today’s summarize the literature, but discusses it incorporating feedback from reviewers reviews of the literature need awareness critically, identifies methodological prob- greatly helps improve a review draft. not just of the overall direction and lems, and points out research gaps [19]. Having read the review with a fresh mind, achievements of a field of inquiry, but After having read a review of the litera- reviewers may spot inaccuracies, inconsis- also of the latest studies, so as not to ture, a reader should have a rough idea of: tencies, and ambiguities that had not been become out-of-date before they have been noticed by the writers due to rereading the published. Ideally, a literature review (i) the major achievements in the typescript too many times. It is however should not identify as a major research reviewed field, advisable to reread the draft one more gap an issue that has just been addressed (ii) the main areas of debate, and in a series of papers in press (the same time before submission, as a last-minute (iii) the outstanding research questions. correction of typos, leaps, and muddled applies, of course, to older, overlooked sentences may enable the reviewers to studies (‘‘sleeping beauties’’ [26])). This It is challenging to achieve a successful focus on providing advice on the content implies that literature reviewers would do review on all these fronts. A solution can rather than the form. well to keep an eye on electronic lists of be to involve a set of complementary Feedback is vital to writing a good papers in press, given that it can take coauthors: some people are excellent at review, and should be sought from a months before these appear in scientific mapping what has been achieved, some variety of colleagues, so as to obtain a databases. Some reviews declare that they PLOS Computational Biology | 3 July 2013 | Volume 9 | Issue 7 | e1003149 have scanned the literature up to a certain Inevitably, new papers on the reviewed Acknowledgments point in time, but given that peer review topic (including independently written Many thanks to M. Barbosa, K. Dehnen- can be a rather lengthy process, a full literature reviews) will appear from all Schmutz, T. Do ¨ring, D. Fontaneto, M. Garbe- search for newly appeared literature at the quarters after the review has been pub- lotto, O. Holdenrieder, M. Jeger, D. Lonsdale, revision stage may be worthwhile. Assess- lished, so that there may soon be the need A. MacLeod, P. Mills, M. Moslonka-Lefebvre, ing the contribution of papers that have for an updated review. But this is the G. Stancanelli, P. Weisberg, and X. Xu for just appeared is particularly challenging, nature of science [27–32]. I wish every- insights and discussions, and to P. Bourne, T. because there is little perspective with body good luck with writing a review of Matoni, and D. Smith for helpful comments on which to gauge their significance and the literature. a previous draft. impact on further research and society. References 1. Rapple C (2011) The role of the critical review 11. Torraco RJ (2005) Writing integrative literature 22. Kelleher C, Wagener T (2011) Ten guidelines for article in alleviating information overload. Annual reviews: guidelines and examples. Human Res effective data visualization in scientific publica- Reviews White Paper. Available: http://www. Develop Rev 4: 356–367. doi:10.1177/ tions. Environ Model Softw 26: 822–827. 1534484305278283. doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2010.12.006. 1300384004941/Annual_Reviews_WhitePaper_ 12. Khoo CSG, Na JC, Jaidka K (2011) Analysis of 23. Oxman AD, Guyatt GH (1988) Guidelines for Web_2011.pdf. Accessed May 2013. the macro-level discourse structure of literature reading literature reviews. CMAJ 138: 697–703. 2. Pautasso M (2010) Worsening file-drawer prob- reviews. Online Info Rev 35: 255–271. 24. May RM (2011) Science as organized scepticism. lem in the abstracts of natural, medical and social doi:10.1108/14684521111128032. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci 369: 4685– 13. Rosenfeld RM (1996) How to systematically science databases. Scientometrics 85: 193–202. 4689. doi:10.1098/rsta.2011.0177. doi:10.1007/s11192-010-0233-5. review the medical literature. Otolaryngol Head 25. Logan DW, Sandal M, Gardner PP, Manske M, 3. Erren TC, Cullen P, Erren M (2009) How to surf Neck Surg 115: 53–63. doi:10.1016/S0194- Bateman A (2010) Ten simple rules for editing today’s information tsunami: on the craft of 5998(96)70137-7. Wikipedia. PLoS Comput Biol 6: e1000941. 14. Cook DA, West CP (2012) Conducting systematic effective reading. Med Hypotheses 73: 278–279. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000941. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2009.05.002. reviews in medical education: a stepwise ap- 26. van Raan AFJ (2004) Sleeping beauties in science. 4. Hampton SE, Parker JN (2011) Collaboration proach. Med Educ 46: 943–952. doi:10.1111/ Scientometrics 59: 467–472. doi:10.1023/ j.1365-2923.2012.04328.x. and productivity in scientific synthesis. Bioscience.i,Teksrnsytta B:SCIE.0000018543.82441.f1. 61: 900–910. doi:10.1525/bio.2011.61.11.9. 27. Rosenberg D (2003) Early modern information 5. Ketcham CM, Crawford JM (2007) The impact Reviews and Guidelines (2009) The value of overload. J Hist Ideas 64: 1–9. doi:10.1353/ of review articles. Lab Invest 87: 1174–1185. ‘‘traditional’’ reviews in the era of systematic jhi.2003.0017. reviewing. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 88: 423–430. doi:10.1038/labinvest.3700688. doi:10.1097/PHM.0b013e31819c59c6. 28. Bastian H, Glasziou P, Chalmers I (2010) 6. Boote DN, Beile P (2005) Scholars before Seventy-five trials and eleven systematic reviews researchers: on the centrality of the dissertation 16. Eco U (1977) Come si fa una tesi di laurea. Milan: a day: how will we ever keep up? PLoS Med 7: Bompiani. literature review in research preparation. Educ 17. Hart C (1998) Doing a literature review: releasing e1000326. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000326. Res 34: 3–15. doi:10.3102/ the social science research imagination. London: .ir,Mfa ` MR (2012) Bite-size 0013189X034006003. science and its undesired side effects. Perspect SAGE. 7. Budgen D, Brereton P (2006) Performing system- 18. Wagner CS, Roessner JD, Bobb K, Klein JT, Psychol Sci 7: 67–71. doi:10.1177/ atic literature reviews in software engineering. Boyack KW, et al. (2011) Approaches to under- 1745691611429353. Proc 28th Int Conf Software Engineering, ACM 30. Pautasso M (2012) Publication growth in biolog- New York, NY, USA, pp. 1051–1052. standing and measuring interdisciplinary scientific ical sub-fields: patterns, predictability and sus- research (IDR): a review of the literature. doi:10.1145/1134285.1134500. J Informetr 5: 14–26. doi:10.1016/ tainability. Sustainability 4: 3234–3247. 8. Maier HR (2013) What constitutes a good j.joi.2010.06.004. doi:10.3390/su4123234. literature review and why does its quality matter? 31. Michels C, Schmoch U (2013) Impact of biblio- 19. Carnwell R, Daly W (2001) Strategies for the Environ Model Softw 43: 3–4. doi:10.1016/ construction of a critical review of the literature. metric studies on the publication behaviour of j.envsoft.2013.02.004. Nurse Educ Pract 1: 57–63. doi:10.1054/ authors. Scientometrics. doi:10.1007/s11192- 9. Sutherland WJ, Fleishman E, Mascia MB, Pretty nepr.2001.0008. 013-1015-7. In press. J, Rudd MA (2011) Methods for collaboratively 32. Tsafnat G, Dunn A, Glasziou P, Coiera E (2013) 20. Roberts PD, Stewart GB, Pullin AS (2006) Are identifying research priorities and emerging issues review articles a reliable source of evidence to The automation of systematic reviews. BMJ 346: in science and policy. Methods Ecol Evol 2: 238– support conservation and environmental man- f139. doi:10.1136/bmj.f139. 247. doi:10.1111/j.2041-210X.2010.00083.x. agement? A comparison with medicine. Biol 33. Pautasso M, Do¨ring TF, Garbelotto M, Pellis L, 10. Maggio LA, Tannery NH, Kanter SL (2011) Conserv 132: 409–423. doi:10.1016/ Jeger MJ (2012) Impacts of climate change on Reproducibility of literature search reporting in con.2006.04.034. plant diseases - opinions and trends. Eur J Plant medical education reviews. Acad Med 86: 1049– 21. Ridley D (2008) The literature review: a step-by- Pathol 133: 295–313. doi:10.1007/s10658-012- 1054. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e31822221e7. step guide for students. London: SAGE. 9936-1. PLOS Computational Biology | 4 July 2013 | Volume 9 | Issue 7 | e1003149


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

0 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."

Allison Fischer University of Alabama

"I signed up to be an Elite Notetaker with 2 of my sorority sisters this semester. We just posted our notes weekly and were each making over $600 per month. I LOVE StudySoup!"

Jim McGreen Ohio University

"Knowing I can count on the Elite Notetaker in my class allows me to focus on what the professor is saying instead of just scribbling notes the whole time and falling behind."

Parker Thompson 500 Startups

"It's a great way for students to improve their educational experience and it seemed like a product that everybody wants, so all the people participating are winning."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.