Writing Review Articles

November 12, 2020, 20-minute individual coaching session with the trainer between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. + self-study, Online course

Course content
Writing a review article in early stages of the PhD-project has several advantages:
1. The systematic study of the literature and the organisation of information increase the understanding of the topic.
2. PhD candidates gain experience with the writing and publishing process.
3. High quality reviews published in international journals are well-read and highly-cited. Thus publishing a review article is beneficial for career advancement.

The objectives of this workshop are (1) to understand structural patterns of review articles, (2) to approach review-writing projects with pragmatism and efficiency.


> narrative reviews versus systematic reviews
> text structure (outline) of systematic reviews
> text structure of narrative reviews: storyline, sections, paragraphs
> writing process: when to start, steps to consider, software to use
> text quality: quality criteria, recommendations
> publishing reviews: journals, topics, co-operations

This distance learning course contains eight elements.

1. A document with workshop information and tasks to do (instructions).
2. A screencast in video format with key messages.
3. A document in PDF format including slides presented in the screencast. In addition, this document includes references and websites.
4. Handouts in PDF format.
5. An email participants send to the trainer describing their main challenges related to writing review articles.
6. The outline of the participant's next review article. Participants send their outline to the trainer not later than three hours before the coaching session.
7. A 1:1 coaching session with the trainer on November 12. The session will be held via Skype or phone and has a duration of 20 min.
8. An online bulletin board for sharing comments and insights with other course participants.

Learning objectives

> understanding differences between narrative reviews and systematic reviews
> knowing the standard text structure of systematic reviews
> planning text structure of narrative reviews
> organising writing processes
> evaluating text quality of review articles
> appraising strategies for publishing review articles


This workshop requires a time investment of 3.25 hours.

Target group
Doctoral candidates from all subject areas, except the Humanities.
"Promotion Plus"
 5 units are applicable for this course within the „Promotion plus“ certificate.
Module 1. Independent Research
Course instructor
 Philipp Mayer
Please register your intererest in this workshop with your BIGS coordinator by September 15, 2020.


Please find the overview of all workshops offered in Promotion plus BIGS here.

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