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Searching for Review Articles

If you are unfamilliar with a topic or just starting your research in a particular field, review articles are a great source of information. They typically review the state of the art and give insight into what research has been performed and what might be on the horizon. Bibliographies in review articles are usually quite lenghty and provide a way to dive into a particular topic. Many review articles have 50-100 citations in their bibliographies. What is important to note is that the works cited are usually from key players in the field so you have a quick collection of relevant research and discussions on your topic to be further investigated. The three resources described below offer different angles to search within this review literature.

Index to Scientific Reviews (ISR)
SciFinder Scholar
Web of Science


Index to Scientific Reviews (ISR)

This resources is only available in print (Chem Library Ref Area: 016.5 In25), however it covers all scientific disciplines. This is an excellent source to use especially if your research is interdisciplinary. It will also allow you to be as thorough as possible when combined with SciFinder Scholar and Web of Science. You can search the subject index which leads you to the citations. The excerpt below gives an example for finding a review on Alkylated Nucleosides and ther resulting entry in the source index. Please note that when using the Premuterm Subject Index (PSI), you are looking under one keyword/subject at a time and then looking for more specific entries underneath.

Example from Index to Scientific Reviews


SciFinder Scholar

The easiest way to limit to review articles in SciFinder Scholar is to use the Additional Options under Search by Research Topic.

Choosing Additional Options in SciFinder

The Additional Options will expand and you can choose Limit by Document Type and then choose Review. Finally, type in your topic(s) to be searched and only review articles will be returned in your results.

Limiting to Review Articles in SciFinder


Web of Science

Web of Science also allows you to limit by review articles. When you are on the general search screen, scroll down to the bottom and choose Review under Restrict Search by Languages and Document Types.

Limiting to Review Articles in Web of Science