Update Guidelines


Updating articles – the ‘living’ review

The unique feature of Living Reviews is the concept of a ‘living’ article. Your commitment to keep your review alive is crucial in providing the scientific community with the most up-to-date information. With regular updates it will likely become an important point of reference which readers will return to often. This also shows in the number of citations your article will receive.

For the technical details, see “First steps – article update”.

We distinguish between three kinds of changes to articles:

‘Fast-track’ revisions

If there were only few developments in your field you can write a so called ‘fast-track’ revision:

  • This is a short annual update in the form of minor changes and small additions. For example, adding an occasional paragraph and new references.
  • It will be refereed by your topic editor.
  • It will be released with the same publication number.
  • The article history gives a synopsis of the changes.
  • Readers can track changes within the review from the linked update page.

See how changes are tracked in a sample article.
See the article history of a sample article.

Major updates

A major update can be (but need not be) preceded by one or two ‘fast-track’ revisions. How often a major update is warranted will depend upon the rate at which the topic field covered is developing.

  • You are free to build on the text of the original article. For example, you might rewrite individual sections, add new material, or rewrite the entire piece.
  • Substantial changes and additions make it a new publication in its own right.
  • The article will undergo full refereeing again.
  • The article will be published with a new publication number.
  • On the journal’s table of content new and old article versions are listed, but only the latest version has an active link.
  • Older article versions are still accessible via the article history.

See the article history of a sample article.
See how original articles and updates are listed in Living Reviews in Relativity.


  • Corrections to equations, data, or references are technically treated in the same manner as ‘fast-track’ revisions.