Continuing with the series of articles on the protocol’s challenges, we will now discuss the second: a lack of scientific literature. If you haven’t already, we’ll leave a link to the previous article at the end of this text.

Link to the first article:

The Second Challenge Is A Lack Of Scientific Literature.

More than one of you has probably wondered why this is a negative fact. The scientific method is currently used to build knowledge in modern societies. It is the only way to ensure that the conclusions we arrive at and the facts we refute are objective and universal. This is how medical science, psychology, and other sciences have progressed.

Since protocol is an extremely useful discipline, there has never been a need to register and study it. There are numerous protocol manuals available today. Still, the problem is that they are written from the author’s professional experience rather than from the objectivity provided by science. As a result, they are works that are subjective and individualistic. Not that what they say is incorrect, but it only represents the plot of reality experienced by the author.

Despite claims to the contrary, the protocol’s second challenge is not unique. Sierra Sánchez and Sotelo González (2008) investigated the protocol’s status at the legal and professional levels. Their first conclusion is that studying the protocol’s subject is difficult due to a lack of scientific and academic material on which to base one’s research on. The odd thing about the subject is that the authors cite López Nieto, who came to the same conclusion 23 years earlier.

lvarez Rodrguez (2008), on the other hand, studied the discipline’s extensive bibliography until 2006, which met two requirements: Spanish authors and specific protocol and ceremonial material. The result was 170 works, and her analysis concluded that there was a lack of titles whose authors were associated with the university, as well as near non-existence of books considered of a scientific-theoretical type, leaving the rest, the vast majority, as a bibliography resulting from the author’s professional experience (or lack thereof).

Ramos Fernández (2014) later reflects on the protocolary bibliography in a scientific article. He believes that the bibliographic market can be improved and claims that the existing literature is primarily composed of many monographs that have the character of a practical or descriptive manual on a wide range of topics but do not always go into the reasoning behind their statements. In other words, they lack scientific rigour.

Pulido Polo’s work is another in this vein (2015). She analyses the existing literature in the field and comes to three conclusions:

  • The first is the same conclusion that the other authors have reached since 1985: a lack of scientific literature on the discipline.
  • On the other hand, she points out that the works created thus far have very little depth when it comes to the subject of study.
  • Finally, he adds that many of these works have poor methodological quality, lacking well-constructed methodological designs in which the scientific methods and techniques used to develop them are properly defined.

As a result, this challenge has a direct impact. This creates a serious situation that threatens the discipline and has not improved in more than thirty years: a lack of terminological agreement. Each author defines protocol and its elements differently, making it difficult to learn about protocol and its professional development. You will find ten different protocol definitions and related concepts if you read ten protocol books. That is not possible. We require a unity of concepts based on science to build profession and science in the same direction.





Álvarez Rodríguez, M. L. (2008). Nociones de protocolo desde la bibliografía de sus autoridades. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, (63), 165-173. Recuperado de

Pulido Polo, M. (2015). Ceremonial y protocolo: métodos y técnicas de investigación científica. Revista de Comunicación Vivat Academia, 65, 1137-1156.

Ramos Fernández, F. (2014). El Protocolo como ciencia propia en el ecosistema de la Comunicación. Espacios posibles para transformar una técnica en una disciplina científica. Estudios sobre el Mensaje Periodístico, 19(2), 1075-1089.

Sierra Sánchez, J., & Sotelo González, J. (2008). El Estado Actual Del Protocolo a Nivel Jurídico Y Profesional. ICONO 14 – Revista de comunicación y nuevas tecnologias, 11, 41.

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Writer by Daniel Delmás, Specialist in Protocol and Events

25 May 2022, The Netherlands

Category: Business Protocol

Reference: DD25052022BP   

Photography: Fallon Michael

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