Write a review, write now!

9 December 2015 (afternoon)


Dr Philipp Mayer, science-textflow, Winterthur

Philipp Mayer has studied geoecology and received a PhD in forest science. He is trainer for scientific writing and has broad experience both in research and in adult education.


The aim of the training write a review – write now is to provide you with the skills needed for writing high quality reviews. You learn to organise dispersed information, to design concepts and hypotheses and to plan text structures. Time-saving techniques are trained and you are encouraged to start immediately with your writing project.

Writing a review in early stages of the PhD-project has several advantages:

  • The systematic study of the literature and the organisation of information increase the understanding of the topic.
  • Candidates gain experience with the writing and publishing process.
  • Candidates may write the review before the beginning of time-consuming experiments or field work.
  • High quality reviews published in international journals are well-read and highly-cited. Thus publishing a review article promotes the candidates’ career in science.

Content and pre-course assignment

  • Types of reviews: history reviews, status quo reviews, theory reviews, issue reviews, examples from your discipline
  • Structural elements of reviews: research question, movements from general to specific, groups of similar information, relationships between works of different researchers, storyline
  • Literature management: organisation of information and sources, software tools
  • Quality of reviews: quality criteria, checklists
  • Writing process: planning the preparation of a review
  • Publishing strategies for reviews: journals, time-frames, co-operations

Course organisation:
Short lectures and exercises alternate in the course. Participants gather and share experiences and develop individual strategies.

Pre-course assignment:
Bring a copy of a review paper to the workshop. Choose a review from your own discipline
Decide on a research question to tackle in your next review paper. In the workshop, there will be the opportunity to plan the text structure of this review.

General information

Dates:  9 December 2015

Schedule: 13:00-17:00

Venue: University of Neuchâtel, Faculté des sciences, UniMail, building E , room E326

Credit points: 0.5 credit point (Communication)

Evaluation: Active participation

Information: Please contact Dr Philipp Mayer or the doctoral program coordinator Dr Christiane Bobillier

Travel expenses: reimbursement conditions


  • This course is open to all Ph.D. students, however until 30 September priority is given to "Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology"
  • This course is free (for information the effective cost is approx. CHF 80.00 per person)
  • Minimum number of participants: 8, maximum: 14

Registration through the web only: closed Course full

Please note the cancellation policy (CHF 20)

Deadline: 15 November 2015