A taxonomy of migration research – mapping all that we study

2019-05-28 06:51:19

As the popularity of migration research grows, so does the number of platforms where researchers and others interested in the latest knowledge need to go to find reliable and uptodate sources. New research leads to new angles and approaches, and new combinations of different disciplines. To help researchers and others interested in migration find their way, and one another, in this growing field, researchers under IMISCOE’s CrossMigration project have developed a taxonomy for migration research. This system aims to address fragmentation in the field, by incorporating and categorizing the multitude of topics, disciplines, methods and geographies of this growing scientific field.

Systematizing migration knowledge

The Migration Research Hub taxonomy helps categorize and structure items in a research database. This allows academics and researchers, as well as publishers, editors, journalists and policy makers to find relevant literature, projects and data sets that best capture the latest developments in migration research. For example, a journal can use the taxonomy topics to make an article easier to find after publication, while authors can gain visibility as their research expertise is clearly labelled by the most relevant thematic categories, methodologies, disciplines and geographical scope. This can help journalists and policymakers alike find the most recent literature in one simple search, even if it falls under two or more taxonomy topics. 

A reliable solution

The taxonomy has been subjected to a strict process of validation. First, a machine learning algorithm was used to classify 23,000 abstracts from journals that were defined as relevant to migration studies by CrossMigration’s research network. This resulted in a list of 60 topics that needed further refinement. Thematic experts then reviewed the list, based on the latest theory. During online and face-to-face meetings they revised how the topics were divided and organized, which led to the current iteration of the taxonomy.  

Open to all

Sharing knowledge, that’s what the project is about. As the aim is to ensure that all researchers and interested parties benefit, it is crucial to have the involvement of the entire community that studies and deals with migration in all capacities. The future Migration Research Hub welcomes all scholars and experts, and invites them to register themselves as experts, and show their publications and projects. 

Together, researchers from all disciplines can shape this taxonomy, apply it to their work and make it future-proof. IMISCOE will serve as a platform for receiving and systematizing feedback from users, keeping the taxonomy updated, and relevant. Suggestions for improvements or changes are welcome and will be reviewed according to the same rigorous methodology that supported its creation. 

The Migration Research Hub will go live in the summer of 2019, so keep an eye on CrossMigration’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as the project page for more information. 

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