The Publication Forum Steering Group has updated the instructions and evaluation criteria for classification of publication channels. Updates will take effect from the beginning of 2022.
Updates to the level 1 criteria
Level 1 is the basic level of the Publication Forum classification, including the majority of the publication channels in the classification. Basic requirements for level 1 remain the same: publication channel is specialised in scientific publishing, the entire manuscripts are subject to peer review, and editorial board constitutes of experts. From the beginning of 2022, level 1 publication channels should also have a transparent description of the editorial board and the peer review process on the publication channel's website. However, a book publisher may meet level 1 criteria even if the editorial board and peer review process are not described on the website.
The Panels need not award level 1 to publication channels formally meeting the criteria if they are local, or if their factual quality or relevance is questionable. In this respect, the concepts of locality and relevance were clarified in the updated criteria.
More room on levels 2 and 3
The Steering Group discussed maintaining level 3 category. Based on feedback from the Panels and the scientific community, there was no broad consensus on the removal of level 3. On this basis, the Steering Group decided not to change the number of level categories. However, it was decided to increase the quotas for levels 2 and 3 in order to allow the Panels to take better into account specialties and multidisciplinary publication channels in the classification. In addition, more attention will be paid to the balance between different publication types and languages.
The enlarged quotas will be introduced in 2022 in the re-evaluation of levels 2 and 3. The combined publication volume of the series rated to levels 2 and 3 can be maximum 25% of the aggregate publication volume (Levels 1–3) assigned to the Panel in question, and level 3 10%. This means that the Panels will be able to upgrade a larger number of publication channels to levels 2 and 3.
The Steering Group also emphasises that in the evaluation of publication channels for levels 2 and 3, the priority is scientific quality, impact and appreciation, regardless of whether the publication channel is used a lot or little by Finnish researchers.
Predictability of the classification
Additions and amendments to levels 1 and 0 can be made continuously, and levels 2 and 3 are updated every four years. The predictability of the classification will be improved so that starting from 2022, the level downgrades will take effect with a delay. The Panels can make decisions about level downgrades between January and June each year and the downgraded levels will take effect from the beginning of following year. Future level downgrades will be announced on the Publication Forum's website, and a new feature will be developed for the JUFO portal to mark the publication channels with future downgrades. Upgrades to level ratings will continue to take effect without delays.
For more information, see the presentation material of the Publication Forum Steering Group and Panel chairs' meeting:
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