Two major approaches to identify new emerging issues were followed in Amanatidou et al. (2011). One concentrated on assembling potential emerging issues from a wide variety of data from different “signal” sources (exploratory scanning approach), while the other approach concentrated on identification of core documents (primary signals) that describe substantial parts of potential issues (issue centred approach). In the first approach emerging issues are identified and described by processing information from different sources, while in the issue centred approach the (preliminary) descriptions of issues are used as a core to identify potential additional signals that could either confirm or deny the “real” emerging of the issue.
The selection of the best combination of scanning methods and approaches for policy engagement is subject to contextual issues such as objectives, capacities, resources, organisational culture and timeline as well as content issues like the potential risks and urgency around the topic examined, depth and width of implications, public awareness and concerns. With this respect, the following tools and techniques were used in Amanatidou et al. (2011) to identify signals:
• Manual scanning
• Expert survey