I have published my thesis to an international conference but it was not anything reputed. However, I do not have access to lab now. I have been asked to be a part of a review-paper writing team and a book-chapter writing team. I am not sure which will have greater impact during my admission in grad school and among researcher community.

  • 2
    Can you specify your field - reviews and chapters are looked on differently in different fields. And an impact factor of 6-10 for example, would be high in computer science, average in biological science and low in medicine (as far as impact factor can tell you anything). Jul 26, 2020 at 12:15
  • Difference seems to be a bit marginal.
    – Buffy
    Jul 26, 2020 at 12:53
  • What do you mean by "do not have access"? Because of the rona, or because you've graduated? Jul 27, 2020 at 16:12
  • My field is Material Science. To be more specific application of nanomaterials in textile. Aug 3, 2020 at 4:57
  • I do not have lab access as I have graduated. Aug 3, 2020 at 4:57

2 Answers 2


This really depends on the field and the venue...

In my own field, book chapters are almost useless for your goals - they come in two flavors: those where already accomplished authors write reviews of a subject and are considered highly but are written by people who do not need an introduction, and those solicited by publishers looking for cheap content they can resell. There are other fields where book chapters are a pretty central part of publishing.

That said, review articles can be basically the same: those where established researchers convey their wisdom are highly respected, but typically the authors have sufficient credit already. In my area, an impact factor of 6-10 is pretty good, though also low for a journal that trades in the review arena: highly influential reviews in review journals get tens to hundreds (sometimes thousands) of citations, so those journals have inflated impact factors.

With the limited information you've provided, I'd assume the review article is better, if indeed the journal is a good journal and not somehow inflating an impact factor with false citations (not an uncommon thing). The more important advice I would offer is for you to check the specific circumstances with an advisor you trust. Your thesis advisor would be a good start.


My personal view is that the review article will hold more weight with an admissions committee, because it is more likely to be peer reviewed in a serious way. If the journal is well-respected, and particularly if the review is an "invited" one, then being part of the author list is a good way to say that your (or your group's) opinion on the topic of the review is something well-regarded and seen as important by your peers in your field.

However, one caveat is that if the book chapter was invited and the review article wasn't, then the book chapter is more or less a "done deal" in terms of acceptance and publication, while the review paper may or may not be accepted (or even considered) by the journal you submit it to. In that case, depending on your timeline, getting something published, no matter whether it's a book chapter or review article, would be the top priority to make sure you can claim it on your application.

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