Six years ago, I published a review (survey) paper about a topic in my field.

Since then the literature (and the topic) has evolved substantially, so I think it’d be worthwhile to update the review by writing an “update paper”. I can think of at least hundred papers published in the meantime that could be worth adding, and a few interesting points (new perspectives, etc.). However, I have never seen a paper revisiting a previously published review paper and updating it. My questions are:

  • Does such situation warrant a new publication?
  • Is it common to publish a review paper updating a previous review? Any examples?
  • How to title it?
  • 2
    You know, in some fields the demand for up-to-date reviews is enough that there is an attempt to do away with discrete, monolithic endeavors and replace them with incremental changes: hence Living Reviews. Not that these are always kept up to date, but the spirit is there.
    – user4512
    Jan 2, 2016 at 22:31
  • @ChrisWhite that's interesting, thanks for pointing that out
    – user46811
    Jan 4, 2016 at 15:13
  • @ChrisWhite If you turn your comment into an answer, I will vote it up.
    – jakebeal
    Jan 4, 2016 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


Updated review papers are not particularly unusual, as a Google Scholar search readily demonstrates. You should definitely explicitly declare the paper as an updated review, and it is probably best to send the paper to the same journal as before. If you can get in touch with the journal editors, they may even be able to expedite the review process, since they already know and have accepted the first version.

  • great answer, thanks. It didn't occur to me to perform a Google Scholar search with those keywords, silly from me. Looks like they're more common than I had expected.
    – user46811
    Jan 4, 2016 at 15:16

This is a stunningly common occurrence in medicine. See the Cochrane library for a myriad of examples. Many of the reviews in there have pre-planned revision dates as well.

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