There is a sticky section (in general discussions) with recommended reading. Check that out. There's quite a spectrum of good material covering poly now. Myself, not a huge fan of "Ethical Slut" but for people with real sex hangups it might be a start.
As for protocol, we're also ones who want it to be a closed loop. We definitely expect to meet each other's partners at some point before things progress too fast. There's a certain cushion in having an independent set of perceptions as anyone can be blinded to the whole picture when zoned in on one or two certain attractive features.
It's not an "interview" and we strive to not make it feel like that. But it's also important for anyone new to have full realization that it really is a 'package deal' - in one aspect or another. There's plenty of room for individual freedom but in the end, we all need to be on the same team at minimum.
We've never had any problem expressing that philosophy to anyone - or having them understand it. Just practical that's all.