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For Writers

Introduction to Research Reviews

We at Catalyst commend you on your dedication to undergraduate research. We serve as a resource for undergraduates as a medium for learning what their peers are doing within their own field and as a showcase for the excellent undergraduate research being performed by Rice undergraduates.

As part of any research process, you must perform a literature review to get a sense of scope the field, past experiments, protocols, and areas of promising development. As a student researcher, this is a daunting task. Therefore, to assist you with this process before you begin writing, here are a few things to consider:

  • Reviews should be written at a level between popular science magazines and professional journals, depending on which section you are submitting to. Assume that readers are familiar with basic concepts in the field, but not with the specialized research being discussed. Avoid jargon.
  • Editors will review the submission and suggest revisions for the sake of style, grammar, and clarity.
  • If you are also submitting to another professional journal, you must verify that submitting to Catalyst does not result in copyright violations. Students are to review patent disclosure and prior publication guidelines.
  • For a guideline of what the finished product should look like, check out Yale University’s Model Papers from the Disciplines or Nature Reviews.