Important Note

Ownership of the journal Cancer Detection and Prevention was transferred to Elsevier Ltd. in September 2008. This page remains available for historical purposes. The content on this page is likely to be out of date and may no longer be accurate.

Important Note

Ownership of the journal Cancer Detection and Prevention was transferred to Elsevier Ltd. in September 2008. This page remains available for historical purposes. The content on this page is likely to be out of date and may no longer be accurate.

ISPO

Methodologic Guidelines for Review Papers*

Role of Review Papers

Reading a good review paper is one of the most efficient ways of becoming familiar with state-of-the-art research and practice on any topic in cancer biology, epidemiology, prevention, or treatment.

General Guidelines

The primary purpose of these guidelines is to ensure that readers are informed about the methods used in preparing the review. The author should state the purpose of the paper and describe the search techniques, the studies included and excluded, the approach to assessing the validity of studies, the methods used to summarize the evidence, and the bases for recommendations.

The following guidelines are recommended for authors submitting reviews articles to Cancer Detection and Prevention:

INTRODUCTION

Purpose - A review paper should include a clearly stated purpose in terms of questions to be answered or goals to be met. Reviews should summarize evidence for recommendations regarding research, public health or medical practice.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Search Methods - A review paper should describe

  1. the information sources searched, or
  2. reprint files and reference lists in books or published papers.

A review article should specify the number of studies identified by the search methods and the proportion selected for review.

Papers should be selected on the basis of the best available evidence for each specific question discussed. To limit the number of references, review articles or the latest publications in a series of articles from the same laboratory may be given preference.

Example

“Referred papers were identified by MEDLINE search through the PubMed database (1968-2004) by combining the keyword 'nitric oxide' with the keywords 'carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, apoptosis and tumour, endothelial cell and tumour, angiogenesis' for the following journals: Cancer Research, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, British Journal of Cancer, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Clinical Investigation, FASEB Journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA. Additional papers were identified by searching of references through retrieved papers.”

RESULTS

Criteria for Evaluating Validity of Studies - A review paper should describe the criteria used to evaluate (1) the quality of the evidence, and should clearly state (2) the methods used for summarizing the evidence from the studies selected for review.

DISCUSSION

Criteria for Conclusions and Recommendations - A review paper should (1) describe the methods used to make conclusions, and (2) discuss which considerations were used in arriving at the recommendations.

Sources

Weed DL. Methodologic guidelines for review papers. (editorial) J Natl Cancer Inst 1997 Jan; 89(1): 6-7.

Patrick TB, Demiris G, Folk LC, Moxley DE, Mitchell JA, Tao D, et al. Evidence-based retrieval in evidence-based medicine. J Med Libr Assoc 2004 Apr; 92(2): 196-9.

Notes

To prepare manuscripts for publication in Cancer Detection and Prevention see also specific guidelines for Manuscript Style.