Review Articles in the JYI

According to Thomson Scientific, the company which determines the impact factor of scientific journals, the USA produced 2.9 million research papers during the period 1996-2006. Taiwan, the 13th country on this list produced 1.2 million scientific papers and you can imagine a large number contribution by other countries in between these two. These statistics mean that it is impossible for us to read all the research papers published in the field of our interest or expertise. Well conducted review articles helps readers to overcome this problem and keep updated and abreast with the current progress and the future direction of research in the area of their interest.

Review articles are an important part of all professional scientific journals. The research department of JYI has also been publishing Literature Review articles together with the original research papers. As with other types of articles, our aim here is to be educational that is to help authors improve scientific communication skills and to produce scientific article useful to undergraduate readers. This applies to both research and review papers.

If you have not got a chance to work in a research project but want to publish in the JYI (this may apply especially to our readers from developing countries), you can do a review article on your area of interest. Literature review should be around a narrow topic, have a thesis or problem in that area and evaluate the published studies to arrive at a conclusion or to answer the specific question author endeavored to answer. We will also publish review articles with overview on topics of interest to undergraduate students if they are comprehensive and add to the current understanding of undergraduate readers.

Coming once again to the fact that we already have a vast pool of scientific literature, it can have significant impact in the way review articles are done. Not all the published researches trying to answer one specific question have similar results. Selective citation of papers with only the type of outcome author likes results in a poor quality review. In the book "How to read a paper" Trisha Greenhalgh mentions how Nobel laureate Linus Pauling used selective quotes from medical literature to prove that Vitamic C helps us to live longer and better. There are, however, many other published researches with opposite results. Although we do not publish systematic reviews, we would still like the authors who submit the review papers to mention the search strategy they used to find the articles from the databases.

In a review article in this issue of the Journal, Marina Freydin gives an overview of treatment options available for hemophilia and details these treatment options based on their effectiveness, side effects and availability. The treatment of hemophilia can be complicated with the development of antibodies against the replacement factors used. The authors suggest that recombinant factor VIII or IX as the current best available modality for the treatment of hemophilia patients who do not develop inhibitors and recombinant factor VIIa for those patients who develop inhibitors to the replacement factors VIII and IX. Gene therapy can become successful in curing the disease in the near future. However, more than 70% of patients with hemophilia are undiagnosed or under treated. It is a great challenge to make these treatment modalities available to needy patients especially those in developing world.

We would like to hear from you on what you think of the papers published in the research department of the JYI including this review article. You can contribute to the post publication peer review by writing a letter to the editor at eic@jyi.org or just give a feedback to the research editors at re@jyi.org.

One of the founding fathers of JYI, Brian Su, became the youngest person to co-PI a grant from the NSF. The purpose of the grant was to fund the start-up costs for JYI.
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