1

I have done a literature review, but every time I send my article to the journals I receive either major changes or a rejection because I have only searched in journals indexed by Scopus and Web of Science (40). The journals say I have to search the databases. I am in the last year of my thesis and I have to publish my work in an indexed journal. How to do so?

I searched also non-Scopus and non-Wos journals. They say that I have to search articles in the databases directly and not search in the journals indexed by these databases and then searching articles in these journals.

  • 3
    Talk to your supervisor... – Solar Mike Jan 21 at 11:29
  • Are you writing only literature reviews? Don't you have results to present? It's weird also for journals to say you have to search non-Scopus non-WoS journals as well: most of the results worth referencing are already in these two databases. – Allure Jan 21 at 11:31
  • I searched also non scopus and non wos journals. they say that i have to search articles in the databases directly and not search in the journals indexed by these databases and then searching articles in these journals – abdoulah Jan 21 at 11:33
  • 2
    To clarify: Is your problem that you spent the entirety of your three-year PhD writing a single article that no one will publish? – user2768 Jan 21 at 12:19
  • 1
    @user2768 a phrase with "nail" and "head" in it comes to mind... – Solar Mike Jan 21 at 13:00
1

It is indeed considered best practice nowadays to search publication databases for literature rather than only individual journals or conferences, typically combined with some snowballing. Scientific fields are manifold, and it is very easy to miss relevant publications if all you do is look through a pre-defined list of journals (independently of whether they are listed in Scopus, WoS, or whatever). Essentially, for a literature review to add value it needs to be able to make a case for completeness, and it is very hard to claim that without a fairly clear and comprehensive search procedure (along with rather objective acceptance criteria for papers).

I am in the last year of my thesis and I have to publish my work in an indexed journal. How to do so?

I should also say that this is, to no small degree, also a failing of your supervisor. Your supervisor should have told you early in the process that your research methodology has a good chance of not surviving peer review.

However, that doesn't really help you now. If you have repeatedly received this comment there really are only two ways forward:

  1. Do as you have been told, i.e., search the standard publication database(s) of your field and extend your review with any new material that may pop up.
  2. Lower your standards, i.e., go for a lower-ranked journal and hope that the reviewers there will be more happy with your approach.

As a sidenote:

every time I send my article to the journals I receive either major changes or a rejection

In my field (Computer Science), "major changes" is qualitatively different from "reject". A request for Major Revision is typically the first step towards getting accepted - it actually happens to most manuscripts. You really should not back out once you have received a request for major revision - usually, you address what can be addressed and argue about changes that cannot be addressed. In the vast majority of cases such papers end up being accepted.

  • In first round of review i had majors revisions and i added articles published in other journals. I have selected 100 studies in order to address reviewers comments. In the second round, the reviewers rejected the paper saying that my review is very limited and i must repeat the process of searching – abdoulah Jan 21 at 16:41
-1

It depends on the culture of your scientific field, but a literature review per se is nothing to be published. Yes, it is work you did, but it should be the basis for your work and an article about the results.

In some rare circumstances, a review article might have a value on its own, but in such cases the article adds additional value and insights which can not be found in the individual articles.

  • Thank you but i passed 3 years to write this article….. – abdoulah Jan 21 at 11:49
  • 2
    This is not accurate in my field (applied CS). People often do publish systematic literature reviews or mapping studies. Nothing strange about this. – xLeitix Jan 21 at 13:04
  • @xLeitix yes, but then you are e.g. categorizing the research, apply some systematic, compare results, etc. – OBu Jan 21 at 14:04
  • I see no indication in OP's question that this is not what they did. Especially if they spent 3 years on this project ... – xLeitix Jan 21 at 14:56
  • Even non-systematic reviews, that basically present a "this is the current state of the field" view are publish all the time in my field. – Ian Sudbery Jan 21 at 18:12
-2

I suggest to look for another (better) journal.

I can't imagine the quality of a lit review coming more from completeness than from organization and explanation and selection. There are a lot of junky papers in some fields. I would even see completeness as a bug, not a feature. It sounds like a link farm.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.