07 February 2014

Tip of the Week! Finding Your Way in Forced Migration Current Awareness

Image credit: Kat Selvocki, via Flickr
I have just added cross-references to my 2014 posts, where relevant. This means that when you are viewing a post that has either a particular regional or thematic focus, the cross-reference will point you to the last post that covered the same region or theme.  So, for example, the 2 Feb. 2014 post on detention directs readers to the related 14 Jan. 2014 post, while the 31 Jan. 2014 post on Syria directs readers to the related 23 Jan. 2014 post.

Of course, if you click on the subject labels for "detention" and "Syria," you'll accomplish the same thing. But most regional posts cover broader areas - Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, MENA, Oceania - and some thematic posts don't always have one all-encompassing subject term to capture the topics covered (for example, "law/policy items," "general items," "gender issues," etc.).  So I thought creating a trail of breadcrumbs, so to speak, might be useful for those of you who are interested in perusing these more general overviews.

That said, using the subject terms is still a good way to navigate the site since other types of posts - those that highlight theses or new issues of periodicals, for example - may still include references to "detention" or "Syria" which you might overlook if you just rely on the thematic and regional groupings I compile.

I take subject terms from the International Thesaurus of Refugee Terminology (ITRT) to "describe" the references listed in my posts.  Having access to a standardized vocabulary is useful for indexing purposes since it means I don't have to decide which terms to use each time I prepare a post, and I have something to refer to if I forget which terms I used previously!  The downside of a thesaurus is that it doesn't evolve as quickly as language does.  In the ITRT's case, it hasn't been updated in a long time - and it won't be, since that was the responsibility of the UNHCR library, which closed its doors in 2009.

Happily, this blog is also searchable.  The available search features have evolved over the years.  Originally, I just relied on the standard search box that came with the Blogger application (in the toolbar, on the top left). But it proved to be unreliable, so I added the site search feature to the sidebar on the right.  At some point, this too didn't seem to work properly!  In the meantime, the search box in the top toolbar was tweaked by Blogger, and now allows results to be sorted by date as well as relevance, which I find very useful.  So I recommend using it over the sidebar search (although I don't want to remove the latter since it's good to have a back-up!).

So cross-references, and multiple browse and search options are all available.  And even more tips for locating information in this blog are provided in the FAQ.  But if for some reason you still can't find what you are looking for, please don't hesitate to ask for help!

Tagged Tips.

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