Publication Forum (JUFO) is a classification system supporting the quality assessment of research output in Finland, and was launched in 2012. The Publication Forum classification was born out of the need to evaluate the research output of research organisations not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively. The benefit of Publication Forum is its high coverage: the classification is able to account for the differences and characteristics of the publishing practices of various fields of science, unlike in citation analyses based on the international databases. In order to consider the publication cultures characteristic of various fields of science, the classification includes journals and series, conferences and book publishers alike.
The classification provides information about scientific publication channels’ impact and how highly regarded they are amongst the scientific community. The evaluation is carried out by 23 discipline-specific expert panels consisting of approximately 300 scholars of merit who are either Finnish or work in Finland. The scientific community is also able to participate in the classification by proposing amendments. The aim is to encourage Finnish researchers to publish their research findings in high-quality Finnish and foreign forums.
The four-tier classification rates the major foreign and domestic publication channels of all fields of science as follows:
1 = basic level
2 = leading level
3 = highest level
0 = publication channels that do not meet the criteria for level 1.
Level 1 includes peer-reviewed publication channels specialising in publishing scientific research results that have an editorial board consisting of experts of the field of science. Most publication channels are at level 1. Levels 2 and 3 feature a limited set of scientific journals, conferences and book publishers considered of the highest level and impact by expert panels. These are mostly international publication channels, but there are Finnish and Swedish language publication channels at level 2 in humanities and social sciences. Panel-specific quotas determine how many serial publications each panel can place at levels 2 and 3. The quotas are based on the publication volumes of the publication channels, which means that their numbers vary at levels 2 and 3 panel by panel.
Level 0 only indicates that the evaluation panel is of the opinion that the publication channel in question does not meet some criteria of level 1. This level includes channels of many types and levels from professional journals and suspicious open access journals to universities’ own publication series. Even a high-quality publication channel can first receive a level 0 just because it was established only recently and the panel is not yet able to assess its content. The level 0 channels can therefore also feature scientific articles and books that have been appropriately peer-reviewed and that deserve to be noticed in the assessments of an individual researcher, for example.
The JUFO level of a publication channel indicates the average level of competition and peer review passed by the articles and books, but the highly respected high-level publication channels also feature weaker publications with a fairly low impact. Similarly, the lower level publication channels sometimes produce publications that prove to be highly impactful. Due to this, this classification should only be used to assess large quantities of publications, such as for macro-level reviews of the publication production of research organisations, research fields or the entire country. The classification is not well-suited to assessing the merits of individual researchers and it cannot replace an evaluation performed by the experts of the field in science in question in a recruitment process, for example. Read more about the limitations of the JUFO classification in the user guide for the Publication Forum classification.
The classification system has been used as the quality indicator of scholarly publications produced by universities since 2015 as part of a university funding model introduced by the Ministry of Education and Culture. A total of 14 per cent of universities’ basic funding is allocated on the basis of scientific publications and other publications.
The publication channel database of Publication Forum contains the data of more than 35,000* publication channels, available through the JUFO Portal (in 2022). The basic information on publication channels and the level classifications are available to all, in addition to which users can propose amendments to the classification by registering as users of the portal. The table below (Table 1) describes the JUFO portal functionalities for registered and unregistered users in more detail.
Anyone can register as the portal user and access the functionalities that require being logged in. Signing in is done via Eduuni, so the first step in registration is to register as an Eduuni user. See more detailed instructions for registration (in Finnish)
The JUFO portal is also a tool for the secretariat and panels of Publication Forum for processing and evaluating publication channels. The secretariat receives and processes the proposals for new additions and level amendments through the portal and allocates the channels to be evaluated for the panels. The panel members then carry out most of their evaluation work through the portal.
Table 1. JUFO Portal’s information and functionalities for registered and unregistered users.
Additional services for registered users