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I'm writing a literature review on synthesis and biological activity of some organic compounds, and half the references I found on SciFinder are patents. Are patents typically included in literature reviews of this sort?

Thank you!

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    If you want to be comprehensive they are. It used to be that innovative stuff that was in patents subsequently got written up in papers, but the legal departments of the companies put a stop to that about 20 yrs ago. – Waylander Jan 15 at 21:49
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Everything is included in the literature search including patents. It depends on how deep you wish to search, where you wish to stop and which range of years you would like to focus. Papers, reviews, patents, books, monographs, conference proceedings, handbooks, MS/PhD theses, technical reports, etc., are all part of a formal literature search. You should not include unreliable sources like internet pages until and unless the author is known to be scientifically reliable. Wikipedia should also be the last resort...it is an excellent beginning for a topic search. A good reference list includes seminal papers (earliest ones) and the latest ones, emphasizing the recent ones.

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    I don't see how this is an answer to the question (which is also not really on-topic here IMO). Here, only the first two sentences are relevant to the question, but they are about literature search, not literature review, not to mention lack of cited guidelines or best editing practices. A generalization like "everything is included" is not correct. Oftentimes a standalone patent mapping is required alongside the literature review, and sometimes a style guide dictates separate bibliographies based on a source. – andselisk Jan 16 at 5:22
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    Andselisk, Like before, I will not argue about the choice of words. Literature search and literature review mean the same thing to me. It may mean something else to someone else and they are economically free to write a separate answer. If the publishing industry makes a distinction, I am not aware of that. Are you by chance associated with research paper publishing/editing industry, given your specific inclination towards following style guides? – M. Farooq Jan 16 at 5:38
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    Literature search is a process and literature review is a product, how can they possibly be the same thing? – andselisk Jan 16 at 5:41
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    Both search and review are also verbs and I use them interchangeably for literature (.) and English is not my first English language like you. – M. Farooq Jan 16 at 5:44
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    Which also makes literature review a process. Anyway, leave this topic for the linguists...the OED people. Our focus should be on helping SE Chemistry become better and better in terms of content rather than criticize each other on irrelevant issues. – M. Farooq Jan 16 at 5:52

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