I am researching machine learning models for predictability, and I am doing a literature survey/review right now.

Can I use research papers from non computer-science journals in my proposals?

For instance, I am using machine learning to predict X. The reason why X should be predicted and the 'state-of-the-art' research related to predicting X is not to be found in computer science journals, it's mainly found in economy/econometrics and marketing journals.

So in summary, is it normal or O.K to use references from non-computer science journals in a computer-science related research proposal?

  • Well, I did. No one complained. (If this is for coursework, ask your professor.)
    – Bob Brown
    Commented Oct 14, 2021 at 23:47

2 Answers 2


This is perfectly fine. You are now doing interdisciplinary research. Defined by the NSF:

Interdisciplinary research is a mode of research by teams or individuals that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice.

  • Thanks a lot, this is very helpful. The reference there was very useful as well because I can (and will) use it in case I get questioned!
    – TheMan
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 8:24

Why not? Even if it was not ML/AI-related, it'd still be perfectly valid.

But especially with ML, most of the time, the motivation for the study lies in the subject area. It makes sense to look for similar problems (if only in formalism) in other domains, too, and see what has been done to solve them. So yes, perfectly normal to end up with something like "we are doing a research in economics and this is why it is worth studying but a superficially similar problem was solved to some success in seismography, let's see if we can draw from that experience".

  • Great answer, very helpful, thank you.
    – TheMan
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 8:23

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