Criteria for Literature Search
When looking for literature to cite in your proposal, make sure that your sources meet the following criteria:
Your sources have to represent research published in communication journals or those of related disciplines. Having some citations come from related fields (such as psychology, sociology, political science, or feminist studies) is acceptable. However, the majority of your sources must come from the field of communication.
Your sources have to come from peer-reviewed journals: When selecting a database to search for articles, you often time have an option to select only peer-reviewed journals.
Using books and chapters is acceptable; however, those books and chapters have to be research-oriented and cite empirical research backing claims up. Some good indications that a book is research-oriented:
It’s published by a university press or an academic publishing house.
It’s got an extensive reference list at the end of the book, or at the end of each chapter.
It’s geared toward advanced scholarship in a specific area (i.e., not a textbook).
Good sources example:
Journal of Communication
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
American Political Science Review
Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam
The Psychology of Attitudes by Eagly and Chaiken
Not good sources examples:
Newsweek, Time, etc.
Wikipedia, random web sites
A two-page review of the book in a journal
Questions of Communication: A Practical Introduction by Anderson and Ross