10 facts about Publication Forum


Publication Forum (JUFO) is a classification system to support the quality assessment of research output. 

1. The Publication Forum classification is intended for the evaluation of large numbers of publications. It can be used to assess the publication output of universities, entire research fields, or a whole country.

2. The Publication Forum classification was adopted because quality assessment based on citation impact was not considered a balanced solution from the point of view of different scientific fields. International abstracting and indexing databases have poor coverage of engineering and technology as well as the humanities and social sciences, whereas the Publication Forum system takes into account all scientific publication output, not just English-language articles in journals.

3. The Publication Forum classification does not include all the publication channels in the world and nor is complete coverage its aim. The classification covers those Finnish and foreign series, conferences and book publishers that are most important from the point of view of Finnish research, and meet the definition of a scientific publication channel.

4. The universities’ funding model awards publication points for non-peer-reviewed publications, professional publications and popularised works. This does not require that the publication channels of these articles or books are listed in Publication Forum. It is only considered necessary to weight peer-reviewed scientific publications on the basis of the quality of their publication channel.

Funding model

5. The Publication Forum rating has three levels. Level 1 is a basic level, which covers approximately 87% of all publication channels. Level 2 is leading level and contains approximately 10% of all publication channels. Level 3, or the highest level, contains only 3% of all publication channels. Thus it is not realistic to assume that all Finnish articles and books could appear in the leading or highest level.

6. It is possible for researchers to influence the outcome of the review of ratings and the evaluation of new publication channels. Suggestions for amendments can be made on the Publication Forum website.

7. Hundreds of new publication channels are added to the Publication Forum every year. Both suggestions submitted via the website and new journals and publishers identified from the national publication data gathering of research institutions will be evaluated. A scientific publication reported in this data gathering will thus be noted even if its publication channel was not previously evaluated by Publication Forum.

8. Contrary to the general assumption, the universities’ funding model or the Publication Forum classification do not steer publication activity away from Finnish-language publications. In the social sciences and humanities, the proportion of Finnish-language peer-reviewed articles and books placed on level 2 corresponds well to the proportion of Finnish-language publications of all peer-reviewed publications.

9. The level received by a publication channel reflects the average quality of its articles. Thus, the classification is not suited for the evaluation of the merits of an individual researcher, nor can it rplace an assessment made by experts in, for example, recruitment situations. Suitable ways for applying the classification are described in the user instructions, which correspond to the principles of the Leiden Manifesto and the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies has signed the DORA declaration.

10. For additional information, see the Publication Forum website for presentations and material licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

Anna-Sofia Ruth, Information Specialist at Tampere University Library. Coordinator for Publication Forum at the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies 2014–2017.

Further information:

Publication Forum’s FAQ: http://julkaisufoorumi.fi/en/evaluations/faq
User instructions of the Publication Forum classification: http://www.julkaisufoorumi.fi/sites/julkaisufoorumi.fi/files/jufo_manual_2018v1.pdf
Publication Forum’s classification criteria:  http://julkaisufoorumi.fi/en/evaluations/classification-criteria
Julkaisujen laadunarvioinnin kehittäminen – Suomen yliopistojen rehtorien neuvoston työryhmän ehdotus (in Finnish): http://www.helsinki.fi/halvi/srno/raportit_ja_julkaisut/Julkaisujen_laadunarviointi.pdf
Leiden Manifesto for Research Metrics: http://www.leidenmanifesto.org/
Pölönen, Janne: Suomenkieliset kanavat ja julkaisut Julkaisufoorumissa. Media & viestintä 2015, no. 4. https://journal.fi/mediaviestinta/article/view/62073 (in Finnish)
The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment: http://www.ascb.org/dora/

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