Review journal

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A review journal in academic publishing is an academic journal devoted to the review of progress in some particular area or topic during a preceding period often through the means of its publishing review articles.


Review journals can be divided by

  • the frequency of publication
  • the format
  • the subject scope of the review
  • the time period
  • the type of review they provide

Each individual title needs to be characterized in these respects.

Frequency of publication

  • irregular, less than annual
  • Annual.
  • Periodically: monthly, semi-monthly, quarterly, etc.


  • regular feature in a journal
  • irregular of special article in a journal

Subject scope

  • Broad overview of the subject as a whole
  • Overview of major topic within the subject
  • Review of specific topic

Time period

  • Multi year
  • Annual
  • recurring in a cycle over a multi year period
  • irregular
  • Currently published items.

Material included

  • comprehensive—all relevant work
  • selective/comprehensive—all major relevant work
  • selective—the best work in a field.

Type of review

  • enumerative—listing with brief descriptions
  • evaluative—judging worth of the publications included
  • summarizing—providing a state-of-the-art summary
  • tutorial

Representative review series

  1. Annual review of [biochemistry, anthropology, etc. ], published by Annual Reviews online and in print, publishes 32 series of annual volumes giving enumerative overviews of major topics within each subject, in a multi year cycle
  2. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology

See also