If you are having trouble using the site or have a question that is not answered in the list below please feel free to get in touch with us.

What is IssueLab’s collection policy?

Complete details about our collection policy, including our preservation policy and metadata policy are available here.


What is IssueLab’s submission criteria?

  1. Work must be published or funded by a social sector organization, foundation, or university-based research center.
  2. Work must be free and accessible to the public.
  3. Work must be data-driven, whether it is qualitative or quantitative. We do not accept opinion pieces, press releases, blog posts, brochures, etc.
  4. Work must include complete citations and references.

We require that you upload a copy of your resource if it is published in a downloadable file format, as well as provide a direct link to the resource where it is hosted on the publishing organization or funder’s website. This allows us to link users directly to your site while still maintaining a backup copy on our servers in the case that the link your provide stops working.


How can I use resources I find through IssueLab?

Each resource in IssueLab includes copyright information that has been specified by the organization or individual that added it to the collection. This information can be found underneath the summary/abstract on each individual listing page and is attached to any record we share with a data partner or external web property. Copyright information is also appended to any pdf that is downloaded from IssueLab. Please check the copyright for any specific restrictions on how you need to cite or reproduce materials. (We also encourage you to learn more about how fair use permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission.)


How can I share my organization’s knowledge on IssueLab?

If you have worked, volunteered, or interned for a social sector organization, intermediary, or foundation you can create an account and add resources to the IssueLab collection at no cost. Once your knowledge has been added to the IssueLab collection it will become available to practitioners, funders, advocates, and researchers through all of our related web channels, data partners, and Knowledge Centers, making it possible for you to easily and quickly share your work with a diverse and widely distributed audience.


Who owns the resources shared through IssueLab?

Any resource that is added to the IssueLab collection remains the property of the copyright holder. It is simply being shared through the IssueLab platform. By default we link to the document or resource directly on the publishing organization’s website. But in keeping with best practices for archiving and digital collection we do keep a backup of the resource in case the link is broken or temporarily disabled. If your organization would rather we not keep a backup copy please just send us a note.


What does it mean that you are an open access archive?

This means that all of the work housed in IssueLab’s archive is freely available for download. We only accept work into the primary collection that can be accessed at no cost to the individual user.


I manage a website and/or online community and want to use part of IssueLab in my own site. What do I do?

There are several different ways that can bring resources from IssueLab to your own users, including: harvesting the data itself, embedding a feed into your own web site, or working with us to develop a custom Knowledge Center for your website or community.


Who runs IssueLab?

IssueLab is a project of the Foundation Center. It’s ongoing development is managed and maintained by its original co-founders, Lisa Brooks, Director of Knowledge Management Systems and Gabriela Fitz, Director of Knowledge Management Initiatives with the support of other Foundation Center staff.


Why does IssueLab advocate for creative commons?

At IssueLab we advocate for creative commons for one simple reason, it makes sharing easier. The social sector produces research and resources so that other practitioners, advocates, decision makers, and researchers can use this knowledge to improve the good work they do. By using a creative commons license publishers empower others to use their knowledge, while also being able to specify how they want it used. Rather than applying overly restrictive and blanket permissions, cc licenses require attribution while at the same time liberating the knowledge for actual use. We encourage all nonprofits and foundations to think about how the licenses they choose can better reflect their intentions and values. Learn more about creative commons.


How can I get involved with your work?

IssueLab is a work in progress that in many ways belongs to the entire social sector. So if you have a skill, experience, or interest in helping the sector better tap its own knowledge, please get in touch! Librarians, journalists, bloggers, cataloguers, issue experts, programmers, artists, we welcome you. Get in touch and let’s talk.