Skip to Main Content

18-701/18-702: Technical Writing for Engineers: Locating Review Articles

Locating Review Articles

In many cases, finding a scientific review article will entail taking the results of a topical search and then simply finding those which contain the word "review" OR "survey" OR the phrase "state of the art" in the title.  Many of these review articles will help to identify knowledge gaps in the field, near-term opportunities for scientific advancement or prime areas for problem-solving applications.

A few databases actually allow you to search for a "Review Article" document type.  They are: 


You will notice that some of these review articles will be literature reviews or systematic literature reviews.  These can also be very helpful.  For one thing, they can help to quickly identify a seminal work. 

Seminal work - "A written work that may or may not be original but that strongly influences later developments. The use of the adjective in this sense dates from the 1960s and it can equally apply to anything similarly influential, such as an article, a piece of research or even a person, as a 'seminal pianist'. The literal sense is 'sowing seed', from Latin semen, 'seed'."

Seminal work. (2009). In A. Room, & E. C. Brewer (Eds.), Brewer's dictionary of modern phrase and fable (2nd ed.). London, UK: Cassell. Retrieved from

Note that many encyclopedia articles will mention what is considered to be a seminal work as well.