Choose between Literature Insights and SoL format
- Category: Documents for Authors
Our New and Second Article Format: State of the Literature
Review of Communication Research is going to publish a second format which is similar but not equal to the standard literature reviews we are publishing (which we call “literature insights”). It will be presented in a different section of the journal. We keep publishing our standard literature reviews, therefore you can choose which format you want to write.
Which format should you choose to write?
In our standard literature reviews (i.e., literature insights), authors a) revise all the relevant literature written on a topic, b) structure it by a relevant categorization criterion, c) evaluate the literature critically, and d) offer a strong input to the literature. This input could be clarifying a problem, identifying relations unnoticed before, finding contradictions between theories, pointing out inconsistencies in findings presented in the literature, or summarizing published literature into a new definition or a new theory. It is not easy to push forward the literature in this way. That is the reason why Review of Communication Research requires authors of literature insights to be experienced. We would not follow this editorial policy if we published empirical research articles.
The state-of-the-literature articles (SoL) follow the same steps literature insights do, but they do not need to give any relevant theoretical push to published literature (step d). Therefore, SoL articles are less demanding than our literature-insights articles. Both experienced and less experienced authors can write and publish an SoL article.
In SoL articles, authors have to a) revise all the relevant literature written on a topic, b) structure it by a relevant categorization criterion, c) evaluate the literature critically, therefore understand and explain the relations between the different variables, and d) suggest future research.
Click here to watch a two-minutes video that will explain to you the process to publish an SoL article. You can also read here about the process to publish a literature-insights or an SoL article.
Why do we want to publish SoL articles?
The reason is straightforward: SoL articles are useful for the advancement of the Communication field. SoL articles explain what is known about a topic at a specific moment in time, and do it critically. Therefore, SoL articles help the scholars who start a research on a specific topic. For example, a scholar who starts a research on media effects and Facebook should search and read an SoL article to apprehend what is known about that topic at a specific moment in time. The article would work like a map and would give scholars a general vision to decide from which point to start. Book chapters have this function often. However, book chapters are unavailable in many libraries.