[IISER Pune]

Bio491: Literature Review in the Biosciences

2014 edition

Date/Time: Mon and Tues 0840h

Location: LHC203

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  1. Last class on 15-April-2014 as per the old schedule. No class on 12-April-2014.
  2. Assignments relating to faculty-modules page updated with Girish Ratnaparkhi's reading material. These assignments will be assessed.
  3. Due date for Part 4: 18-Mar-2014
  4. Assignments (parts 2-5) upload page

Assignments (graded)

Submission deadlines (5 p.m. on that date)

Upload assignment parts 2-5 here.

  1. PART 1 20-Jan 2014: Working title and keyword list [5 marks]
  2. PART 2 04-Feb 2014: Results of literature search [20 marks]
  3. PART 3 18-Feb 2014: Bibliography [15 marks]
  4. PART 4 18-Mar 2014: Concept map and outline of literature review [20 marks]
  5. PART 5 18-Apr 2014: Completed literature review paper

Guidelines to the literature review [midterm][full review]

The HANDOUTS page: for help with topics covered in class.
This page is protected and is meant only for the use of the attendees of the course.

Assigned Reading

Critical reading of literature searching, scientific peer review process, writing and the publication process.
[List of assigned papers]

Faculty modules

The schedule of topics covered by varied biology faculty members for specific case studies of literature review.

Part 1 - Title and keywords (due on Jan 20, 2014)

[5 marks]

1.General area of review:

2.Working Title:


(From your title identify 6 keywords)

4.From your keywords, identify associated words and synonyms

Click HERE to upload titles

(4-6 more words)

Part 2 - literature searchDue on Feb 4, 2014

[20 marks]

1.Identify two search engines/databases for your search

2.Formulate a search strategy and execute

3.Based on search results, modify title/scope of review if necessary

4.Compare results from the two different search engines/databases and comment on the strengths weaknesses of the two


oDocument the results in terms of number of hits for both search engines/databases

oFor e.g. if you searched for Drosophila AND (circadian rhythm) - note the number of papers

oBegin your search broadly (to give you the maximum hits) and then narrow/refine your search

Part 3 - BibliographyDue on Feb 18, 2014

[15 marks]

1.Begin collecting a list of papers relevant to your review - this should be in the range of 100-200 papers

2.Organize your bibliography - classify papers by content; technique; etc

3.From this list of 100-200 papers you will refine your search to finalize 20-30 papers

Note: you will be making active decisions at this time - e.g. how many reviews to add; how to choose landmark/classic papers in the field; most cited papers; even distribution of papers over time; good selection of recent papers, theoretical/experimental/synthesis papers, etc.

Part 4 - Concept Map and outline of paperDue on Mar 18, 2014

[20 marks]

1.Draw out a concept map of the 20-30 main components of your review

2.Write out an abstract for your review (300-350 words - to be strictly followed)

3.Write out an outline for your review

This should include headings for the major sections, and bulleted points for each section

Part 5- Completed literature review due on April 18, 2014

[30% of course score]

Late submission policy

Late submissions will be given negative marks as follows:

Evaluation criteria

  • Assignments 30%
  • Paper discussion 10%
  • Participation 15%
  • Oral presentation 15%
  • Term paper 30%

Last updated: 12-Apr-2014