Writing for FMR

We encourage readers to submit articles for publication on any aspect of contemporary forced migration. (Please note that we do not publish book reviews.)

Each issue of FMR has a feature theme and usually a section of ‘general’ articles on other topics related to refugees, IDPs or stateless people.

Future feature themes are listed at ‘Forthcoming issues’, where you will find the deadline for submissions plus guidance on what aspects we are looking to cover. If you wish to submit a ‘general’ article, you can submit it at any date and we will consider it for publication in a forthcoming issue.

We recommend that authors email us (fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk) in advance of writing in order to discuss your ideas for an article. We can advise you of what subjects/aspects are likely to be of interest to us, warn of potential duplication with other articles, etc. You may also wish to use the search function on our website to check if we have published articles recently on your proposed subject.

Please note that we do not have article submission or processing charges, and are an Open Access journal.

Focus of articles

FMR is a magazine rather than a journal, and is oriented towards policy and practice, not purely academic material. Articles which are most suitable for FMR will usually do one or more of the following:

  • debate different approaches to working with displaced people
  • analyse the relationship between humanitarian/political issues – whether general or situation-specific – and displacement
  • review experience of a particular project, programme or context, drawing out lessons with wider (local, regional or global) implications
  • convey the results and implications of recent practice/policy-oriented research
  • provide a voice for displaced people to share their experiences and insights
  • raise awareness of less well-known (or little covered) displacement crises


Good practice, and learning from success and from failure

Where appropriate, articles should include examples of good practice and recommendations for action and/or further consideration. And if you come across examples of bad practice, share that too.

We urge writers to discuss ‘failures’: what did not work so well, and why. Be self-critical. This is part of the rationale for FMR – enabling agencies to share their failures and challenges as well as their successes, in order to learn from each other and to promote a culture of both learning and transparency.

Please also remember that although your article for FMR may be an opportunity to disseminate your analysis and thinking, it is not primarily a vehicle for promotion of your agency. Of course you may be reflecting on your agency’s experience, and therefore naming your agency, but please be aware of being overly self-promotional.


FMR has an international readership and is designed to be accessible to all those working in the international research and humanitarian communities. The language you use should therefore be relatively simple, non-academic and free of jargon.

If your subject matter requires the use of technical or legal terminology, please add an explanation in an endnote (but try to keep such usages to a minimum).

If in doubt, look at a back issue of FMR to get a feel for what we publish, or email us at fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk with your ideas.

Below we provide guidelines for authors to follow when writing for FMR. We are a small team with limited capacity, so if you follow these guidelines it will help us considerably.

General guidelines

  • Material may be submitted in English, Spanish, Arabic or French.
  • Please submit your article in a format compatible with Word and not in pdf format.
  • Please include one or two sentences to introduce your article (i.e. a short overview of the main argument); at the end of your article, include your name, job title, email address and website link for your organisation where appropriate.


Maximum length of submission: 2,500 words (including any endnotes). Most articles published are shorter than this in their edited version. Articles that are much longer than this will not be considered.

Use as little formatting in your document as possible. Don’t try to make it look attractive or insert borders/boxes/images etc; it just makes it harder for us to work with it. We prefer:

  • single line spacing
  • no boxes, tables or hard lines
  • italics for non-English language terms (e.g. refoulement) and titles of publications (e.g. Forced Migration Review)
  • where appropriate, use bullet points for recommendations or lists
  • use endnotes (not footnotes) and keep them to a minimum (no more than ten). Endnotes should primarily be used for clarification or to refer readers to further information, not as bibliographic support of your text.
  • include URLs (website links) in endnotes as far as possible (as FMR is also an online publication)
  • reference titles of articles in single quotation marks, italicise publications and include date of publication. e.g. Aleinikoff A (2011) 'Foreword', Forced Migration Review issue 38 www.fmreview.org/technology/aleinikoff.html
  • do not use Harvard referencing i.e. inclusion of author’s name plus date within the body of the article e.g. [Gibney, 2010]
  • do not include a bibliography


We welcome relevant photographs but please email them – do not include them inside text documents. We need print quality digital images, or you can send us low resolution images first so that we can assess whether they are suitable or not. Please also refer to our photo policy at www.fmreview.org/photo-policy in which we explain why and how we endeavour to protect the identity of people shown in images in FMR.

Tables and graphs
We rarely publish tables or graphs in FMR. Please try to convey the information in text in the body of the article. If, however, you feel a table or graph is essential to the article, please ensure that you can supply a print-quality finalised version of it if we agree to publish it.

What happens next?

All articles submitted to FMR will be reviewed by the FMR Editors and one or more external reviewers. We will let you know when you might expect to hear our decision on your article, and will notify you whatever the decision.

We edit all articles, sometimes to a significant extent – to avoid overlap with other articles, to bring them in line with FMR house style and to ensure clarity for our generalist readership. We will liaise with you on the edited version, and we will always get your approval of suggested changes before going to print.

Please also note:

The editorial team cannot guarantee publication of any submissions, even when authors have been encouraged in correspondence to submit an article.

All FMR material is published under a Creative Commons licence which stipulates ‘Attribution – No Commercial use – No Derivatives’. For an explanation of this, please see our Copyright page.

And finally…

Do not be afraid to submit material simply because you are not sure if it is well-written. We are happy to amend and edit your article – or to develop a draft article from notes you send us.

Please email the Editors at fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk with any queries if you cannot find the answers above.

"Thanks for one of the most amiable, constructive and productive editorial processes I have had the pleasure to engage with!"

“Thank you so much for preparing butter from yoghurt after intensive churning … making a three-page article from 10 pages. It is perfect.”

“Even a mediocre piece of writing will become good reading once it is passed through the experienced editing skills of the two of you. More strength to your hands!” 

“It was a pleasure working with Forced Migration Review. You really made things easier than usual, your suggestions were thoughtful, editing and design great … in sum, very professional work.”

“I think you and the rest of the team at FMR have done an amazing job and it has been a great pleasure to work with you on my article.”

“Thanks for elegant editing, and for keeping me in the picture. “

“I thank you for your assistance and encouragement as we have worked on enhancing the paper. I have been impressed with your work with me.”

“Thank you for your message – you are among the world’s most considerate editors.”