Review publications contain articles that review the research already done in a given area. A review article can give you a synthesis of a particular topic and provide you with an extensive bibliography.
To identify review articles, most databases allow you to search by article type (review) or limit your search to reviews. Reed Library also subscribes to annual reviews and review journals.
Annual Review of Biochemistry
Annual Review of Biophysics and Biomolecular Structure
Annual Review of Materials Research
Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Provides "authoritative, critical reviews and comprehensive summaries of recent research in all aspects of chemistry."
Chemical Society Reviews: Online, Print
Contains three types of articles: "personalized accounts of their own contributions by recognized authorities; in-depth articles covering the state-of-the-art of the subject under review; introductory reviews of new topics, suitable for non-specialist readers."
Current Opinion in …
Provides views of experts on current advances, as well as annotated excerpts from important papers.
Trends in...: A good place to find a shortish review article on a "hot" topic..