I am thinking about starting a research to publish in a peer reviewed journal. However, I wonder if a literature review is a research paper. For instance, if I wrote a paper about EU-Russia affairs in a form of literature review, would it have a chance to be published?

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    What do you mean by a "research paper"? If you mean any scholarly publication, then a literature review could certainly count. If you mean original research, then that by definition doesn't include a literature review (which is more of an expository or survey paper). Commented May 14, 2014 at 2:43

3 Answers 3


Literature reviews, often referred to by journals as just "Reviews" can and are their own form of research paper. My very first publication was a review like this, so it's clearly possible.

How viable a paper like that is will probably depend on the conventions of your field. For example, mine generally requires that these "expert reviews" (in contrast to a meta-analysis or systematic review) be solicited by the editor, not cold submitted. That involves shopping your manuscript around a little to see if anyone is willing to "invite" it, having a senior person backing you who can prompt a colleague to invite it, or finding a journal who accepts cold submitted reviews.

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    That's not the topic I'm going to write. I wan only an example. Thanks for your answer. 'expert reviews' are good idea.
    – Serhat
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 19:13

It definitely can. I also think it's a good first move in a PhD, although I had a hard time mapping out a field that I was new to (compared to a person working in the area for years).

I summarized some of the insights I gained from that process in a blog article: http://carl-witt.de/writing-a-literature-review/


Yes. However, make sure that your area is both interesting and manageable within the time you planned for publishing on it. Some interesting areas in my field need a year simply for reading.

(Sorry, folks, that's all I have to say, since your URL is dead as of now...)

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