Method for updating the FiMT Research Centre online repository

The FiMT Research Centre website has a comprehensive and easy to search repository of research evidence, policy and practice documents, and other reports related to Service personnel, ex-Service personnel, Service-connected families, and their transition to civilian life. The repository is international in its scope, thus including research papers from across the world as long as they are published in English. The repository can be used confidently by researchers, policy makers, service providers, commissioners, and anyone else interested in easily accessing evidence and information related to the Armed Forces Community. The repository is searchable by key words, themes, author, year of publication, country of origin, the method used, and the type of resource. This makes it easy to find publications relevant for your needs.


To ensure the repository is comprehensive, a methodical and robust approach is taken to update the repository each month. For transparency, this document provides information on the approach taken to ensure the repository’s comprehensiveness and to keep it up to date.



When the current team commenced their tenure of running the Research Centre in September 2022, they inherited the repository which had been collated by the previous team who ran the Centre. As part of the handover of this repository, our team have conducted a thorough quality control to ensure that all current entries have the correct information, have working links, and are not duplicated. This is a normal and pragmatic check, and allowed us to create a baseline to take the development of the repository forward. 


Going forward, the repository is now updated monthly using the approach described below. In addition, the team are performing a historical update to ensure that the repository is comprehensive and includes all relevant documents published since 2001. This historical update follows the same method described below and is anticipated to take the next two years to complete. At the time of writing [November 2023], the repository is fully up to date and comprehensive since May 2022 to present.





1. Identification of potential papers/documents

a) Literature search and horizon scanning

A literature search and horizon scan are conducted at the end of each month by our colleagues at RAND US Knowledge Services (RAND KS). RAND KS is a library service with qualified librarians experienced in conducting robust literature searches and horizon scanning.


The search and scan are conducted by inputting identified key words into several relevant databases. Details of the key words used and the databases searched are provided in Annex A and B respectively. This search produces results which are entered into an Excel spreadsheet ready for duplicate checking and relevance review.

b) Submissions from individuals

In addition to the literature search and horizon scan, those producing relevant research papers and policy and practice documents are encouraged to share their publications and documents with us. Social media channels will be used to invite individuals to get in touch and share their papers with us. Submissions can be made at any time via email [[email protected]].

2. Duplicate check

All results from the above methods are screened for duplicates against a master library (which is updated each month with all new repository entries).


3. Relevance review

All identified documents are then assessed for their relevance with respect to the aims, mission, and vision of the Centre. The following criteria are used to check for relevance:

  • Population – Serving personnel, ex-Service personnel, and their families, where the topic is broadly related to or likely to impact upon transition and post-Service life.
  • Broadly fits within the Centre’s nine themes [education, employment, family and relationships, finance, housing, justice, mental health, physical health, wellbeing].
  • Written in English.


4. Identified papers added to the repository

All relevant identified documents are uploaded to the repository, double checking for accuracy and including relevant links to full text versions where available.  


Annex A: Key words

veteran* OR deployed OR "Army Reserve*" OR "Navy Reserve*" OR "RAF Reserve*" OR "military veteran*" OR "armed forces veteran*" OR "UK veteran*" OR "ex-service personnel" OR "ex service personnel" OR "service leaver*" OR "service personnel" OR "Armed Forces" OR "Air Force" OR "Army" OR "Navy" OR "active personnel" OR "active duty" OR "defence personnel" OR "military service personnel" OR soldier* OR troop* OR servicemember* OR "service member*" OR "military service*" OR "service person*" OR serviceperson OR "service woman" OR servicewoman OR "service men" OR servicemen OR "service women" OR servicewomen OR sailor* OR submariner* OR "Coast Guard"


Annex B: Platforms for Literature Searches


Academic Search Complete


APA PsychInfo


Military & Government Collection


Military Database




Social Sciences Abstracts




Web of Science

Grey Literature

Advanced Google


Policy File Index