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 (Please note that we do not publish book reviews.)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 ask authors to 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 queries.

Use as little formatting in your document as possible. We prefer:

  • 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
  • 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


We are a small team with limited capacity, and we receive a large number of articles for consideration. Following our writing guidelines and ensuring your article complies with our submission checklist below will help us considerably. Thank you!

Submission checklist for FMR authors
Note: We accept articles submitted in English, Spanish, Arabic or French.

Before you submit your article, please ensure that it complies with the following 8 points:

  • The article is no longer than 2,500 words, including any endnotes / title / affiliation etc. (Any article over 2,500 words will be rejected.)

  • The article includes no more than 10 endnotes (note: endnotes, not footnotes).

  • The article is presented as a Word document, in Times New Roman 12 point font, single line spacing, and does not contain any indents, underlining, headers, footers or text boxes.

  • It does not include a bibliography or Harvard-style referencing in the text.

  • There are no photos embedded in the article. (Please do not email us any photos either; if your article is accepted for publication, we will ask you about photos at a later stage.) 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.

  • The article includes a title, and the name/s of the author/s are given at the top of the document. 

  • The name/s and affiliation/s of the author/s are included at the end of the document.

  • The file name includes the surname of the author/s and brief title, for example: ‘Smith – refugee education in Uganda’.

Please also note that 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.

When you are sure you can answer YES to all the points above, please email your article to the FMR Editors at fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk.


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.

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Forced Migration Review
Refugee Studies Centre
Oxford Department of International Development
University of Oxford
3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB, UK
fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk  +44 (0)1865 281700
skype: fmreview