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Refugee and Forced Migration Studies: Journals & working papers

Subjects: Refugee Studies


A journal is a regular publication (monthly, yearly, etc.) in which you will find academic and research articles. The articles present current research and are critiqued by experts before publication, so you can be confident of their quality. The majority of journals held by the Bodleian Libraries in both physical and electronic formats can be searched via SOLO, as can the individual articles within ejournals.

Working Papers are pre-publication versions of academic articles, book chapters, technical papers, or reviews. Authors may release working papers to share ideas or to receive feedback on their work. This is done before the author submits the final version of the paper to a peer reviewed journal or conference for publication. Working paper can be cited by other peer-reviewed work.

On this page you will find guidance on how to search for and access print and ejournals.


Terms you may encounter in your research

(Academic) Journal:
A regular publication of academic and research articles.

A broad term that refers to items published in a series but the items are separate and standalone. Examples include indexes, yearbooks and some journals.

A regular publication that includes articles, stories and other text. Magazines and newspapers are examples of these.

Conference proceedings:
The published record of a conference.

This means you can read the item in full from beginning to end, not just the abstract or summary.

This refers to the site on which you can find and access the journal.

Working, or Research, or Discussion Papers:
Pre-publication not peer-reviewed versions of academic articles, book chapters, or reviews which are are in progress, under submission, or in press and forthcoming elsewhere.

Grey literature:

The generic term 'grey literature' is used to describe a wide range of different information formats produced outside of traditional publishing and distribution channels, and which is often not well represented in indexing databases. Examples include: working and discussion papers, policy briefs, pamphlets, newsletters, blogs and dissertations.

Bibliographic database:
A searchable platform that contains descriptive records of articles, books, conference proceedings, audio-visual material, maps, newspapers, and more.

Abstracting service:
Used to refer to a bibliographic database, the service provides abstracts of publications.

Indexing service:
Used to refer to a bibliographic database, the service provides descriptors to help organise and navigate publications.

Electronic journals (ejournals)

Ejournals are digital versions of select types of serial publications. Broadly speaking they come in two forms: they are either 'born digital' or are digital reproductions of physical works.

The tabs at the top of this section list key ejournals, ejournal collections, tables of contents services and free online resources relevant to the study of refugee and forced migration studies.


Members of Oxford University can use ejournals that the Bodleian Libraries have purchased for free. Search for them on SOLO. They can be read on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, e-reader or mobile phone; you just need your Oxford Single Sign On to access them. Individually purchased ejournals are all searchable on SOLO, but not all purchased ejournal collections are, so it is important to visit the websites of ejournal collections too. Look at the 'ejournal collections' tab above.

Note, some ejournals have restrictive access and usage terms, for example they can only be read by one person at a time.

Some books are acquired via 'electronic Legal Deposit'. These must be read on a library desktop computer in one of the Bodleian Libraries. Further information on how to identify and access electronic Legal Deposit items on SOLO is at the link below.

Help with ejournals

The links below are provided for those wishing to learn more about ejournals.

The following is a list of ejournal collections and journal indexing services applicable to those studying refugee and forced migration studies at Oxford. Not all ejournal collections are available on SOLO, so it is important to visit ejournal collection websites to expand your search.

The platforms that host ejournal collections allow you to browse and search across all ejournals on their site and encounter titles of interest you may not have otherwise found. Unlike search engines, such as Google, these platforms allow you to effectively refine your search. You can be confident content is credible as it has been collated by the platform editors. It is clear where articles can be read for free through the Bodleian Libraries' subscriptions.


The ejournal collections have been selected by the Bodleian Libraries and you are able to access them for free because of institutional subscriptions. You will need your Oxford Single Sign On to access the ebooks if you are not on the University network.

The following is a list of ejournal collections applicable to those studying International Development at Oxford and freely available on the web.


You do not need your Oxford Single Sign On to access these collections. Note, they are different to the ejournals subscribed to by the Bodleian Libraries for which you need your Single Sign On for access.

Physical journals

The tabs at the top of this section list Oxford University libraries with print journals of interest to those studying Refugee and Forced Migration. A lot of journals are available online but some are still in print, especially those published before the introduction of computers and online journals, and they have not all been digitised.

Help with print journals

For those wishing to learn more about searching for journals in Oxford, we recommend the following guide:

Grey literature (working papers and reports)

The tabs at the top of this section list the key access points for locating grey literature documents and reports.  In addition to the principal refugee-related print collection held in the Social Science Library Oxford also subscribes to a number of subscription collections and platforms offering access to full-text working papers, research reports and conference papers for the subject area.  There are also a number of research and NGO websites providing free access to this type of material.

The principal collections for working papers, discussion papers and research reports are held in the Bodleian Social Science Library.  

In addition the Social Science Library also houses the unique Refugee Studies Centre grey literature collection. This includes the following formats of material:

  • conference proceedings,
  • field trip reports,
  • research documents,
  • newsletters from a wide range of academic departments, NGOs, and individuals.

Most of these materials have a geographical orientation, dealing with policy or practice in a particular region or country. Particular strengths include southern and East Africa, western Europe, the Middle East, and South and South East Asia. Date coverage is mostly from the mid-1980s to the present day.

Use SOLO to locate these documents. Keyword searching in SOLO is facilitated by the use of specialised subject terms taken from the International Thesaurus of Refugee Terminology. The collection is in closed access stacks called RSC Boxes in SOLO.  Please ask Issue Desk staff to fetch items for you.

Some of these documents were scanned as part of the Forced Migration Online Digital Library Project (FMO).  These can be search on SOLO by limiting your search on the drop down menu to the right of the search box. Scroll down to the very end of the list.


The grey literature is organised geographically and thematically, according to the classification scheme created by the former RSC Library in conjunction with the British Refugee Council. The classification consists of a country/region code followed by a subject code.
See below for PDF lists of the codes used.

Below are some key databases providing access to working papers applicable to those studying refugee studies at Oxford. 


Depending on the database provider, you may need to use your Oxford Single Sign On to access materials

ODID (Oxford Department of International Development) Working Papers 

The department has its own working papers series reflecting the work in progress of members of the department. Departmental research groups also have individual series.


In addition to resources the Bodleian Libraries purchases, there are a number of alternative free online resources available via IGOs and NGOs to support the study of refugee and forced migration studies.

Dictionaries and glossaries of terminology can provide useful keywords and definitions for research and database searching for literature. Examples of such reference tools for refugee and forced migration are listed below.

Recommend a journal

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the journal or article you are looking for, you can make a recommendation by completing the form below (Oxford Single-Sign On required).

Inter-library requests

If the Bodleian Libraries don't have the journal you are looking for, we may be able to source it through Oxford's inter-library request service.


Browzine iconBrowZine is an alternative way to browse many of the ejournals subscribed to by the Bodleian Libraries. Coverage is from 2005 onwards.  For those wishing to learn more, we recommend the following guide: