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Bibliometric funding – Denmark


The purpose of performance based research funding systems is that institutions that perform should receive more funding than lesser performing institutions. The underlying thought is that it will create an incentive for institutions to focus on performance (Herbst, 2007). As a publishing researcher in Denmark you need to have an overview of how the system works:

  • how publications in your field are weighted by means of The Danish Bibliometric Research Indicator (BFI)
  • how you identify publications in the most recent Authority Lists
  • how the BFI-model may affect the choices you make for your publications

Outline of The Danish BFI-model

The Danish Bibliometric Research Indicator (BFI) collects data on publishing activities, and it aims at embracing all scientific fields in one overall model (Schneider, 2009; Sivertsen, 2010). The BFI-model aims at measuring output, as manifested in scientific publications. The model deliberately disregards all other aspects of research, like editorial work, reviewing, communicating research to the public, and teaching. These aspects could be taken into account by other means in research management. In this way it is similar to the Norwegian Model for weighted funding. The BFI-model measures performance at the university level, by assigning BFI-points to each publication from the Danish universities. In addition, some Danish universities use the assigned BFI-point in the universities research management, e.g., for distribution of funds to departments.

Though most research publications are communicated via international journals or publishers, some research areas are closely related to a national context. Consequently, a national model for performance based research funding, should consider and include such national aspects. In this respect the Danish BFI-model builds on the same theoretical background as the Norwegian model.

The Authority Lists of publication channels

The baseline of the Danish BFI-model is the so-called Authority Lists of publication channels – one for Publisher and one for Series (Journals, Book Series, and Conference Series).  The Authority Lists are published by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education. Only research published in a publication channel, which is listed in one of the Authority Lists, are counted and weighted and thereby assigned BFI-points.

Access the Authority Lists

You will find the latest Authority Lists for publisher as well as Series (in Danish) at the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education home-page.

Publication channels – levels and points

The Authority Lists are dynamic and they are updated once every year by one of the 67 subject area groups, consisting of 4-10 researchers in the specific field, representing all relevant universities. Once a year the subject area groups assort the Series into two levels, ’prestigious’ – level 2, and ‘normal’ – level 1, which is applied for giving weighted scores to each research publication. Level 1 comprises 80 % of the world production within each BFI subject area while level 2 comprises 20 % of the world production.

How can new publication channels be added?

The BFI-model is developed and administered by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education. The ministry has put down 67 BFI subject area groups (BFI faggrupper). If a researcher wish to add a publication channel to the authority list, he or she must contact a representative of one of the BFI subject area groups. A list of representatives (in Danish) is available from the ministry’s home-page.

Which publications can yield BFI-points?

Scientific publications, that meet the requirements described in the  ministry’s definition of peer-review (in Danish), can yield BFI-points as they are entered into each university’s research information system. All Danish universities use Pure as their research information system, and the specific publication types in Pure that might yield BFI-point are peer-reviewed research or commissioned:

  • Contribution to Journal
    • Journal Article
    • Article in Conference
    • Review
    • Letter
  • Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceeding
    • Contribution to book/anthology
    • Contribution to report
    • Article in proceeding
  • Book/Anthology/Thesis/Report
    • Report
    • Doctoral thesis

In addition, patents will also yield BFI-points.

How BFI-points are calculated

BFI-points are calculated at the University level based on the following formula:

  • BFI = B x C x F, where
    • B = Basic points
    • C = collaboration factor (1,25 if any external authors)
    • F = Local authors / All authors

Basic BFI-points:

Publication type Level 1 * Level 2 **
Monograph with publisher 5 8
Monograph in book series 5 8
Article in series (journal, book series, conference serie) 1 3
Contribution to anthology with publisher 0,5 2
Doctoral thesis 5
Patent 1

* 80% of the worlds production within the BFI-research field
** 20% of the worlds production within the BFI-research field

These weighted scores, are included in the model as it is presumed that they will neutralise the differences between research fields and their publishing activity. This is an important element in order for the BFI-model to be considered as a single overarching model for research in Denmark. By applying different weights for different types of research publications and publication channels, the Bibliometric Research Indicator, as the Norwegian model, comprise a model that aims to measuring performance and not merely productivity.

What you need to know as an author

As a researcher your publishing strategy should meet the standards within your field of research. The Authority Lists could be used as guidelines when considering your publishing strategy, along with other systems that measures the ‘prestige’ of publication channels, e.g., the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) based on data from Web of Science or the Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) based on data from Scopus.

Check list

When considering to write a research publication:

  • Check the Authority Lists to identify a relevant publication channel
  • Make sure your research publications contains an affiliation to your university
  • Register your publication in your local Pure system (example from Aalborg University)

In databases such as Journal Citation Reports (JIF) based on data from Web of Science and SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) based on data from Scopus, you can look up the impact factor of individual journals, i.e. the prestige of the journals in the international scientific world. When using the databases, it is vital to take into consideration both that the calculation is done in different ways (as the SJR builds on weighted citations) and that the coverage of the two databases differs. Web of Science/Journal Citation Reports covers app. 12,000 journals whereas SCImago Journal & Country Rank/Scopus covers app. 18,000 journals. There is often, but not in every aspect, a certain agreement between the most prestigious journals on the Authority lists and the ones with the highest impact factor in Journal Citation Reports and Scimago. However, the Authority lists reflect the national context, whereas Journal Citation Reports and SCImago do not. Therefore the convergence between the lists and JCR/SCImago will depend on the field of study in question.

How to submit publication for BFI-points

Generally, publications should be registered in the local research information system, currently Pure at all Danish universities. When entered the publication is automatically included in next years calculation of BFI-point. However, local rules and work processes might apply at each university, and as a researcher you should therefore contact the Pure system administrators at your own university to be informed about these.


Herbst, M. (2007). Financing public universities: the case of performance funding. Higher education dynamics: Vol. 18. Dordrecht: Springer.

Schneider, J.W. (2009). An outline of the bibliometric indicator used for performance-based funding of research institutions in Norway. European Political Science, 8(3), 364-378.

Sivertsen, G. (2010). A performance indicator based on complete data for the scientific publication output at research institutions. ISSI Newsletter, 6(1), 22-28.

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