I am currently working on a grant proposal that also asks for a literature review. Now, when it comes to literature reviews, I have always had a problem with selecting what is relevant enough to be included. Obviously, one can't/shouldn't include everything and needs to delineate certain limits. With this grant application, it is even more so the case because there is a clear word limit. So I am wondering how people go about this? To be a bit more concrete, I have the following conundrum:
I work on the history of the diplomacy of two particular countries in the 1960s. Now, as a historian, I have included works that have written historical studies about this period/topic. That is the main stay of my lit review. However, I have now come across a study from 1969 that is more of a policy paper that gives contemporary opinions/observations about the diplomatic relations between both countries. It is not a historical study, but it briefly and superficially does mention some of the specific phenomena I look at. Do I need to include something like this? It is definitely not part of the scholarly discourse I engage with or base my study on. In a sense, it could be more of a primary source I might cite, but because it was published in a semi-academic journal, I am somewhat torn. But if I were to include this source, I might have to include many more similar sources.
Anyways, this is just an example of the larger question how you delineate relevant from irrelevant literature and decide what to leave out. Whenever I see keywords (like in the example) or a few superficial pages relevant to my topic anywhere I am tempted to include it if only so that no reviewer can reject my grant proposal because I overlooked this or that book.