Finding Out about Research
Access to free online research services is an emerging resource type. These sites offer up collections of works-in-progress, summaries of new research publications, and working papers’ series.
- Digests of Relevant Publications (ICAR, UK)
- This resource provides access to summaries of recent reports on a wide range of UK asylum and refugee issues. Abstracts can be retrieved by title, author, author organization, geographical coverage, subject, or date.
- Ethnic Conflict Research Digest (INCORE, UK)
- Digest of peer reviews of research on ethnic conflict. Reviews can be accessed by subject, year of publication or keyword.
- id21 Development Research Reporting Service (IDS, UK)
- Includes searchable database of research summaries; can also browse by subject (e.g., click on “society and economy,” then “emergencies”). Also makes available Insights newsletter, a round-up of relevant research and links to other development research sites.
- New Issues in Refugee Research (UNHCR, Switz.)
- A series of working papers designed to provide researchers with an outlet for publishing preliminary results.
- The Rosemarie Rogers Working Paper Series (Inter-University Committee on Migration, U.S.)
- Working papers that address a variety of issues relating to refugees and forced migration.
- “Articles/Papers/Reports (Collection),” FMO Web Catalogue
- Browse through this list to locate the research output made available on individual web sites.
- Forced Migration Digital Library (FMO, UK)
- Grey literature collection of full-text documents, including research materials.
Another way to find out about research is by contacting researchers and relevant organizations directly. The following resources provide profiles of people and their research interests and/or research institutes and their ongoing projects. Some directories include links to web sites, while others do not. The principal challenge with this type of resource is currency. Keeping this kind of information up to date and timely is time-consuming, and often, despite best intentions, the resource is not maintained. For example, directories created by the U.S. Committee for Refugees, UNHCR and the Social Science Research Council have all been discontinued during the past several years. At the same time, it is not always clear to the user how current a directory actually is because most tend not to indicate "updated as of" or "information correct as of" dates. This is not a well-represented information resource within the field of forced migration.
- About Refugee Research (ICAR, UK)
- Provides an overview of asylum and refugee research in the UK, and directs readers to several ICAR directories which can be consulted for further information about relevant research interests and projects at UK-based academic institutions, government agencies, and NGOs.
- Directory of Organizations (ReliefWeb, Switz.)
- Information can be located by country location or organization type. Each entry provides contact details, links to web sites, and if available, the organization’s latest information updates, maps, vacancy announcements, training opportunities, and relevant publications.
- FMO Organizations Directory (FMO, UK)
- To locate academic and research institutes, select “Advanced Search,” then the appropriate organization type from the drop-down menu.
- IDP Research Network (Network Contact Unit for Research on Forced Migration and Internal Displacement, Norway)
- This database includes information on research projects, publications and researchers focusing on internal displacement worldwide.
Indexes/Journal Contents Search Services
To date, no index has been published that culls references specifically from the forced migration journal literature. However, because forced migration is studied by a diverse range of disciplines, relevant articles — primarily citations to but increasingly the full text of — can be identified through indexes that have a broader focus. Although most of these services require paid subscriptions, several projects have been initiated to make indexes available in full online on a complimentary basis. In addition, journal publishers are increasingly offering search services on their sites, effectively creating an alternative form of the “index.”
- Anthropological Index (Royal Anthropological Institute, UK)
- Users can search for bibliographic references to anthropology articles by year, author, title, journal name, continent, region, or subject area.
- Bibliography of Africana Periodical Literature Database (Institute for Economic Advancement, U.S.)
- Search for articles relating to Africa by country, region, periodical, author, title or keyword.
- Contents Pages from Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals (Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas School of Law, U.S.)
- Allows users to search the tables of contents for law reviews received in the past three months by the Tarlton Law Library.
- ECLAS: European Commission Libraries Catalogue (Belg.)
- To search for periodical literature, highlight “Article” in the document type/type de document list, and enter a search term (e.g., a search for all articles relating to “refugees” retrieved over 460 records). Available in English and French.
- EINIRAS Database Network
- Catalogue of periodical literature focusing on international relations and area studies.
- HighWire (Stanford Univ. Libraries, U.S.)
- Database of periodical literature relating primarily to the sciences; access to both full-text articles and bibliographic references is available.
- Quarterly Index of African Periodical Literature (Library of Congress Office, Kenya)
- Index to articles in over 300 periodicals published in Africa.
Use these resources to identify articles, conference papers, grey literature, books and other relevant documents. Note that many of the bibliographies are not current; this resource type tends to be compiled for a specific purpose at a given time, and as a result, is not usually updated. However, the bibliographic databases referenced below are relied upon by libraries to identify and retrieve relevant materials, and therefore, their holdings should be more up to date.
- Bibliography on IDPs (Global IDP Project, Switz.)
- Organized alphabetically by author; compiled April 2001.
- Clinical Bibliography (Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, UK)
- Organized thematically; author index also available.
- Gender-based Persecution as a Basis for Asylum: An Annotated Bibliography, 1993-2002 (Law Library Journal, U.S.)
- Organized by type of gender persecution, then by author.
- Guide to International Refugee Law Resources on the Web (LLRX, U.S.)
- Provides background information on and links to the principal legal texts and standards in the field of international refugee law, and directs users to other relevant legal resources on the web (e.g., national legislation, case law, journals, etc.). Updated February 2005.
- Select Bibliography of Refugee Literature (UNHCR, Switz.)
- Compiled September 2002.
- Selected Bibliography on the Global Crisis of Internal Displacement (Brookings-CUNY Project on Internal Displacement, U.S.)
- Extensive bibliography covering all types of displacement; organized thematically and geographically, then by date; compiled December 2001.
Library Catalogues/Bibliographic Databases:
- Andrew Forbes Refugee Resource Centre (Centre for Refugee Studies, Can.)
- Multiple search options available, including title, author, date, language, keywords, geographic terms, and free text.
- Base Migrations Internationales (MIGRINTER, France)
- English version
- Search by author, title, abstract, date of publication, journal name, keywords, or ISBN.
- Center for Migration Studies Library (CMS, U.S.)
- Search and browse options available, by title, author and subject.
- FINDOC (Institute for Human Rights, Finland)
- Swedish version
- Search by author, title, publication year, keyword, or convention. Records include an abstract and an extensive list of keywords.
- IPS Library (Institute for Palestine Studies, Lebanon)
- Search by title, keyword, author, publisher, or subject. Holdings are in Arabic, English, Hebrew and French.
- PILOTS Database (National Center for PTSD, U.S.)
- The web interface allows searches for PTSD literature by author, title, descriptors, form of material, year, etc. Records can be displayed in multiple formats, and include an abstract.
- Refugee Council Archive at UEL, Web Catalogue (Refugee Research Centre, UK)
- Select “Refugee Catalogue” from the drop-down “Collection” menu to search holdings of the Refugee Council Archive. Index terms are taken from the International Thesaurus of Refugee Terminology.
- Refugee Studies Centre Library (Oxford University, UK)
- Search by title, author, date, publisher, language, index terms or geographic terms. Index terms are taken from the International Thesaurus of Refugee Terminology.
- UNHCR Library (UNHCR, Switz.)
- Search by title, author, publisher, year, language, keywords, geographic terms, or free text. Index terms are taken from the International Thesaurus of Refugee Terminology.
- The European Library (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Neth.)
- Catalogue that allows users to search the collections of 43 national libraries in Europe. Interface available in English, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Slovenian.
- Libweb (Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE, U.S.)
- Directory listing web sites of libraries around the world; organized by region. Mirror sites available in Europe and Asia.
Alerting Services/Current Awareness
Publishers of both books and web sites are increasingly taking advantage of e-mail to send out announcements of new publications or resources. Below is a selection of alerting services that are available from different types of publishers.
- Amazon.com Alerts (U.S.)
- Bookseller that allows users to create a keyword profile; e-mail announcements are sent out whenever a new title containing one of the keywords becomes available. Note: You will need to create a separate Alert for each keyword or phrase of interest.
- ID21News (IDS, UK)
- Announces the most recent research findings that have been added to the ID21 site.
- Oxford University Press (UK)
- Journal and book publisher that offers a variety of e-mail services. Users can select a topic area, and subscribe to different lists in order to receive announcements of new book releases. Alternatively, users can sign up for a journal table of contents notification service.
- The Scout Report (Internet Scout Project, U.S.)
- Weekly report that announces new web sites and resources. Users can read the report online or receive it by e-mail.
Discussion lists or listservs represent a useful resource for sharing information. However, they are not ideally suited for an ongoing exchange of ideas. Increasingly, online fora are being established for this purpose. Examples are provided below of both types of resources.
- Aid Workers Forum (Aid Workers Network, UK)
- Online forum where relief and development workers can seek practical advice.
- To join, visit the forum page.
- CCRlist (Canadian Council for Refugees)
- Refugee protection list for NGO representatives; not open to government officials or members of the media.
- To subscribe, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, organization and e-mail address; no archives currently available to the public.
- FOFOGNET (Palestinian Refugee ResearchNet, Can.)
- “Devoted to the Palestinian refugee issue”.
- To subscribe, see the FOFOGNET page on the PRRN website. Archives are also available.
- Forced-migration (RSC, UK)
- “Aims to encourage greater exchange of information and to promote discussion on the problem of refugees and other victims of forced migration/involuntary resettlement…”
- Subscribe online at the Subscription Settings page. Archives are also available.
- Forced-migration-history (University of Manchester, UK)
- “Serves to encourage the exchange of ideas and information on population displacement in twentieth century European history, and to explore the inter-relationship of migration/resettlement with nationalist, state formation, and the construction of social identities”.
- Subscribe online at http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/forced-migration-history.html. Archives are also available.
- RSDWatch.org Forum (U.S.)
- Discussion forum that focuses on UNHCR’s refugee status determination procedures.
- To contribute to the discussion, follow the submissions guidelines at http://www.rsdwatch.org/index_files/Page327.htm.
- Communities of Practice (ReliefWeb, Switz.)
- Directory compiled to encourage networking in the humanitarian field; lists discussion groups, professional associations, and networks by sector.
The term “blog” is short for “weblog,” which is, in its most basic form, “a chronologically organized site with the latest entry appearing at the top of the page” (About.com). Because blogs provide users with a means to publish content online without any technical expertise required, they have become the platform of choice for disseminating opinions, reporting news, sharing information, and debating issues. In turn, blogs have helped to propagate the use of RSS newsfeeds. These are headline listings which can be displayed using a special newsreader. Together, blogs and RSS newsfeeds contribute greatly to keeping researchers informed of news and other information. Explore the examples below to get a better sense of how to use these new resources in your work.
- FMO Homepage (FMO, UK)
- Column on right side aggregates and displays newsfeeds from the following sites: Forced Migration Discussion List, UNHCR News, IDMC News, ReliefWeb News, and the Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog.
- Forced Migration Current Awareness Blog (Elisa Mason, U.S.)
- Service that highlights web research and information relating to refugees, IDPs and other forced migrants.
- Humanitarian.info (Paul Currion, UK)
- Blog that reports on information management tools and their application in the humanitarian field.
- IngentaConnect (Ingenta, U.S./UK)
- Online research database that indexes journal articles and reports. RSS feeds are provided for each journal title in the database to inform users when new issues become available and what their contents are. For an example, see the listing for the Journal of Refugee Studies.
- Mediablog (ICAR, UK)
- Provides commentary on and links to current news stories.