I am preparing my PhD in computer science. I want to do a state of the art about the topic I am working on, are there any criteria to consider when choosing papers to review? Thank you in advance :)

  • The criteria will probably mostly depend on the topic itself and the relevance for it. The best approach is to find a competent advisor or mentor who can give you a list of the most important papers to read. Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 12:02

2 Answers 2


Or you can use any of them, explicitly.

  • A caveat is that a SLR will usually lead to a rather large number of papers (in a specific area), and the review itself can usually be a big paper of its own. For getting started in a particular direction, one might either read an existing SLR or focus on a smaller (probably incomplete) selection of papers. Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 11:56
  • Thank you for your helpful comments and for taking the time to answer my question. All the best :) Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 12:59

A very rough criteria is to have a read of the 30/40 most cited papers on the very specific topic. Or find a review paper from the last 3/4 years and read the papers citing it.

In absence/difficulties in doing that (access to publications, topic still too broad, etcetc), try to look for video recordings of award prizes at conferences, usually the awarded person will try to give an overview of the state-of-art plus his/her personal take&contributions on given topic.

Here you can find an example of the ACM A.M. Turing Award: likely it is a bit too popular, try to find a more R&D oriented prize.

  • Thank you a lot for your answer :) Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 13:00

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