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Scope Policy

This policy delineates the parameters of the collection included in FMO. Please refer to the Digital Library Collection Management Policy for information on selection criteria.

1.1 Audience

The targeted user group for FMO is anyone who undertakes research or seeks information in the field of forced migration – that is, students, academics, research institute staff, practitioners, librarians, policy makers, members of the media, information providers, and forced migrants themselves. In addition, FMO will represent a useful source of information for those who may not have ready access to print collections and information centres.

1.2 Definition of Forced Migration

There is much debate about the nature of forced migration. The purpose of having a working definition is simply to provide users with a reasonable understanding of the subject areas they can expect to be covered by this resource.

FMO uses the same definition as the one promoted by the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM). That is, forced migration is "a general term that refers to the movements of refugees and internally displaced people (people displaced by conflicts) as well as people displaced by natural or environmental disasters, chemical or nuclear disasters, famine, or development projects."

1.3 Subject Coverage

In the context of the working definition, the subject areas covered by FMO include:

  • Causes of flight
  • Conditions in countries of origin (e.g., human rights violations, early warning, prevention, etc.)
  • Responses to forced migration situations (e.g., emergency assistance, relief programmes, legal protection/asylum, resettlement, international humanitarian law, compensation, etc.)
  • Experiences of forced migrants (e.g., adaptation, health, psychosocial issues, racism, etc.)
  • Special groups (e.g., gender issues, children, indigenous peoples, etc.)
  • Repatriation/return (e.g., post-war reconstruction, development/livelihood programmes, etc.)
  • Impact/consequences of forced migration (e.g., environmental, economic, social, etc.)
  • Organizations & actors (e.g., IGOs, NGOs, governments, aid workers, agents of persecution, etc.)

Relationships with other fields of study:

  • Forced migration overlaps with studies in development, conflict, disaster, and migration. Therefore, it can be difficult – and perhaps is not desirable - to establish very precise boundaries. To ensure relevance to FMO's users, however, the focus of selection should always be on forced migrants and the situations they are confronted with. For this reason, resources that discuss such things as disaster preparedness, development economics, security policy, or the brain drain generally will fall outside the scope of the collection.
  • Forced migration is also a field of interest to users coming from a range of different disciplinary backgrounds and perspectives – e.g., the social sciences, area studies, medicine, and law. While the objective of FMO is to highlight forced migration-specific resources, certain resources with a broader scope may also be featured. This is because they may include forced migration within their coverage, and in doing so, serve as valuable research tools for FMO users.

1.4 Geographic Coverage

There are no geographic limitations.

1.5 Language Coverage

In principle, there are no language limitations; in practice, the languages included reflect the linguistic abilities of the editorial network currently in place and the ease or difficulty representing the languages in a web environment. The goal of FMO is to identify regional partners around the world who can help ensure that multiple languages are reflected in FMO.

Last updated Sep 21, 2011