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Snapshot of Queen’s Research about Migrant and Minority Ethnic Matters

Dr Dina Zoe Belluigi introduces the mapping exercise undertaken in partnership with the Migrant and Minority Ethnic Council.

Dr Dina Zoe Belluigi, blogpost title slide

In early 2021 a mapping was undertaken of research engagement about matters related to migrant and minority ethnic (‘MME’) people, groups or subjects in Northern Ireland, recorded on its public repository. The project was undertaken as a partnership with the Migrant and Minority Ethnic Council of Northern Ireland and Queen’s University Belfast, as both organisation seek to increasing the impact of such research for the benefit of migrant and ethnic minority communities. The project was led by Dr Dina Zoe Belluigi, supported by Amanda Lubit, and was undertaken in the period of January-March 2021. The project was funded through the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account. This blogpost outlines some of the outputs produced as a result.

Sources were collated from the database that the University utilises to store and share information open access about its research in fulfillment of its obligations as a public research institution.

In January-March 2021, information from that database was collated, categorised (using ‘tags’) and archived to an open-source online reference management system hosted on the research webpage of the Migrant and Minority Ethnic Council NI’s for members of the public.

Blog graphic: MME Research page

A report was then compiled, drawn from the data of that archive, It includes information about the type of item; the subject areas, their sub-codes and related list of items; breakdowns of the identifications/ social groupings, academic disciplines and concepts covered; and the full bibliography. From that information, figures and graphs have been constructed, such as Figure 1 below.

Graphic: visualisation of research categories

Figure 1: Visualisation of items related to MME matters recorded on Pure

In total, eighty-eight (88) items that relate to MME matters were collated. Some of these relate to academic outputs (such as journal papers, books and book chapters, conference presentations et cetera (those associated with ‘academic contribution’); others were reports and legal evidence; and others translation activities, such as blogs. The figure above represents these visually, with more detailed information outlined below. For full information and limitations, please refer to the report.

At the time of writing, there were over 88000 research outputs recorded on the Pure platform of the institution that are traditionally associated with ‘academic contribution’. Of these, only 66 matched the criteria for this project . In terms of the total of items collected for this project, this amounted to 55% (i.e. that published for the academic community). A fifth were reports composed for public, charity or funding bodies. It is possible that many researchers do not upload such reports to this portal. Those items related to public engagement activities, including dissemination of research, participation/ information for members of the public bodies, are 14% of the total items. It is possible that many researchers do not upload such activities on this portal.

Of the 1049 student thesis uploaded to Pure, 9 related to MME matters (11% of the items collected). It should be noted that the institutional library also houses PhD and doctoral theses, and some masters-level theses.  It is only since December 2020, that the University has been 100% compliant with open access requirements. Theses made OA via Pure at Queen’s include doctorates but exclude master’s level dissertations (except ‘Master in Philosophy’ degrees).

Informed by this report, those researchers who had authored items uploaded to the University’s repository, were invited to contribute to this website in April 2021. Recognising that there may have been omissions in items identified, snowball sampling was also encouraged. (With limited funding, the search process was sufficient for a ‘snapshot’ but not an in-depth systematic review of the text nor syntheses. As such, it is possible that some items may have been omitted from the report.)

Additional activities, led by the Migrant and Minority Ethnic Council NI, are planned to engage the public with these outputs in the year ahead. Subscribe to the MME Council and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (both @MMECouncil) or LinkedIn for current news and information.

Dr Dina Zoe Belluigi
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

Recommended reference:

Belluigi, D. Z. 2021. Snapshot of Queen’s Research about Migrant and Minority Ethnic Matters. Blog post for 'Queen's on Ethnic Minorities in Northern Ireland'.