Journal of Data and Information Science

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National Lists of Scholarly Publication Channels: An Overview and Recommendations for Their Construction and Maintenance

Janne Pölönen1†, Raf Guns2, Emanuel Kulczycki3, Gunnar Sivertsen4, Tim C. E. Engels5   

  1. 1Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, Snellmaninkatu 13, 00170 Helsinki, Finland
    2University of Antwerp, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for R&D Monitoring (ECOOM), Middelheimlaan 1, 2020 Antwerp, Belgium
    3Adam Mickiewicz University, Scholarly Communication Research Group, Szamarzewskiego 89c, 60-568 Poznań, Poland
    4Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), P.O. Box 2815,0608 Tøyen, Oslo, Norway
    5University of Antwerp, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for R&D Monitoring (ECOOM), Middelheimlaan 1, 2020 Antwerp, Belgium
  • Received:2020-04-07 Revised:2020-06-05 Accepted:2020-06-08
  • Contact: † Janne Pölönen E-mail:janne.polonen@tsv.fi

Abstract: Purpose: This paper presents an overview of different kinds of lists of scholarly publication channels and of experiences related to the construction and maintenance of national lists supporting performance-based research funding systems. It also contributes with a set of recommendations for the construction and maintenance of national lists of journals and book publishers.
Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on analysis of previously published studies, policy papers, and reported experiences related to the construction and use of lists of scholarly publication channels.
Findings: Several countries have systems for research funding and/or evaluation, that involve the use of national lists of scholarly publication channels (mainly journals and publishers). Typically, such lists are selective (do not include all scholarly or non-scholarly channels) and differentiated (distinguish between channels of different levels and quality). At the same time, most lists are embedded in a system that encompasses multiple or all disciplines. This raises the question how such lists can be organized and maintained to ensure that all relevant disciplines and all types of research are adequately represented.
Research limitation: The conclusions and recommendations of the study are based on the authors’ interpretation of a complex and sometimes controversial process with many different stakeholders involved.
Practical implications: The recommendations and the related background information provided in this paper enable mutual learning that may feed into improvements in the construction and maintenance of national and other lists of scholarly publication channels in any geographical context. This may foster a development of responsible evaluation practices.
Originality/value: This paper presents the first general overview and typology of different kinds of publication channel lists, provides insights on expert-based versus metrics-based evaluation, and formulates a set of recommendations for the responsible construction and maintenance of publication channel lists.

Key words: Publication channel lists, Research funding, Scholarly communication, Journal ranking