И как с этим жить?


Сел писать обзор по одной нашей теме. Очень узкой, между прочим, теме, о которой нормальному человеку вообще ничего не известно. Начал "пробивать" литературу по сочетанию ключевых слов. Пробил: 21 тысяча публикаций в базах данных, из них пять с половиной тысяч за 2013 год. Чтобы просто произвести первичный отбор даже не по абстрактам, а по заголовкам (в высшей степени грубый и рискованный отбор), получается 270 страниц поисковика при стандартной выдаче по двадцать результатов на страницу. Допустим, неделя очень плотной работы (между другими неотложными делами и не подряд, чтобы глаз не замылился). Допустим, одна статья из десяти окажется  в тему. Внимательно перечитать полторы сотни статей и пройти по наиболее важным кросс-референсам ... И это только за последний год, а надо бы глубже - лет за пять хотя бы. Получается как бы не годик сплошного нудного читалова.

Н-да... И как так жить?


You're so right. This is why thorough and comprehensive reviews are so rare. It is much easier to write about your own work and maybe that of a few colleagues, than to start digging into the references, following up trails, and producing a balanced, complete piece of work that really covers a field.

I see this trend in my current field (photoelectrochemistry, especially in the context of renewable energy storage). Everyone feels compelled to write a review about this "critical and important topic" - I could almost swear there are more reviews than articles in the field - but nobody seems to bother much about citing seminal papers, illuminating the developments in a balanced way, or even covering everything that happened in any particular subtopic.

And finally, suppose you make this kind of effort and produce a truly valueable review - will it be appreciated proportionally to the time you invested in it? Perhaps; but you can't be sure... I've written 3 reviews so far, two of them comprehensive, one focused on our lab (style of Accounts of Chemical Research). Neither is cited too much; even though it might well be linked to other factors (quality of my writing, visibility of journals, importance of field?), it still doesn't leave me with much enthusiasm for writing any more reviews...

Good luck anyway! :-)

This is exactly the case in my field, too (anti-corrosion coatings on metals). While preparing the review I had to read some previous reviews by other authors. Well... I might better have not: one is more or less informative though far not excellent, but the others are so incredibly poor! It is hard to believe they were accepted and published in serious journals. Still they were.

And thanks for the kind wish!

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