Write a review, write now!

8 November 2017 (afternoon)


Dr Philipp Mayer, science-textflow, Winterthur

Philipp 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 review papers. You learn to focus on specific research questions, to organise dispersed information, 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 can 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 paper is beneficial for career development.

Content and pre-course assignment

  • Types of reviews: systematic versus narrative reviews, history reviews, status quo reviews, theory reviews, issue reviews
  • Structural elements of reviews: introductions, structure of body sections (e.g. organisation by topics, movements from general to specific), conclusions, establishing a story line
  • Literature management: organisation of information and sources, software tools
  • Quality of reviews: quality criteria, checklists
  • Writing process: planning the preparation of a review paper
  • 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: 8 November 2017

Schedule: 13:00-17:00

Venue: University of Neuchâtel, Faculté des sciences, UniMail, building A, room A017.

Credit points: 0.5 credits point (Communication)

Evaluation: Active participation

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

Travel expenses: reimbursement conditions


  • This course is open to all Ph.D. students, however until 15 September priority is given to "Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology" participants
  • 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 The course is full

Deadline: 20 October 2017

Please note the cancellation policy (CHF 20) if you cancel your registration after 20 October