Calculation of points for academic publications

In the budget proposal for 2016 which was presented in October 2015, the government announced that there will be an adjustment of the publication indicator. 

All three  sectors will adjust the calculation of the publication indicator with effect for 2015 publications.

The new method of calculation is described at The norwegian publication indicator website.

The adjustment entails no changes in what the institutions should report in the Cristin system.


1. Data basis for the calculation of points for academic publications

Data from Cristin should be used to calculate points for academic publications in the three sectors. Points for academic articles are a weighted number based on each work's combination of

  • quality level of the publication channel (journal/publisher) 
  • publication form (book, article in an ISSN publication, article in an ISBN-publication)
  • international cooperation
  • The author shares of the institution


2. Levels of channels

The national measuring systems for academic publications are based on a tiered classification of academic journals based on an evaluation of the quality of the journals. The purpose of a classification by quality of journals is to stimulate to high quality of the publication of academic articles. If the channel is at level 1 or 2, this means that it is approved. Level 2 is channels with higher international prestige. 

NSD prepares all cases for channels at level 1, while the National Publication Committee of The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions coordinates the placing of channels at level 2. This is done based on input from the many national expert bodies of The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions.

The goal is for the volume of publication at level 2 channels to be about 20 percent of the total publication volume (ie 20 percent of the publication volume , not 20 percent of the publication channels). These 20 percent are distributed within each field as well, which is administered by a an expert body. This entails a limitation of the number of channels at level 2 and it sometimes follows that channels are moved from level 1 to 2 or vice versa. When the national academic councils are done ranking channels on level 2 and the changes are processed by the National Publication Committee, NSD updates it register of academic publication channels with valid academic channels at level 1 and 2 and make these available to the research sector via the Cristin system.

Through NSD's web page one may search for disciplines, see the distribution of journals at level 1 and 2 within the different disciplines (eg rheumatology, public health, otorhinolaryngology, etc):

All three sectors (HE, health and institute sectors) are involved in the level division of channels via the representation in the National Publication Committee. 


3. Weighting of publication form and quality level

When the points are calculated the author shares should be weighted (multiplied) with an academically determined number. The combinations of publication form and quality level form categories which form the basis for weighting. 

The weights which are used in the funding systems of the three sectors are as follows:


Level 1

Level 2

Monograph (ISBN/ISSN)



Article in anthology (ISBN)



Article in periodicals and series (ISSN)





4. Weighting of collaborations

Collaboration is rewarded with extra weight.

The health, the institute sector care and HE sectors: The points of the institutions are multiplied by a factor of 1,3 for international co-authorship. 


5. Description of the new publication indicator based on the author shares of the institutions

In 2013 the Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy at the University of Aarhus conducted an Evaluation of the Norwegian publication indicator on behalf of the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions. The evaluation found among other things that the indicator does not balance the disciplines well enough as a measurement of academic productivity. This is a problem because the indicator is used for the redistribution of research funds between institutions with different academic profiles. In 2014 the National Publication Committee using simulations has found a solution to the calculation of publication points at the institution level which balances the disciplines better. The solution will be introduced in the budget distribution for 2017 based on data from academic publication in 2015. The solution has the following consequences, which are all considered desirable:

  • A more discipline neutral publication indicator
  • Increased stimulation to cooperation between institutions and countries with regards to academic publication.
  • A continued counteraction of a possible wish to list more authors than reasonable in the publication
  • Increased difficulties in using the indicator at an individual level
  • No change in the weighting of level and publication form
  • No change in the institutions' reporting of publication data to Cristin

The solution is connected to the calculation of the institutions' author shares in publications to which more than one institution contribute. In such cases the publication point has so far been multiplied by a fraction which equals the sum of the institution's author points divided by the total number of author shares in the publication. Henceforth the institution's publication points should be multiplied by the square root of the same fraction. This solution softens the effect of the fraction, but the institutions must still divide the count between them.

In the interests of publications where one author credits more than one institution, author share is still defined as each unique combination of author and institution in the publication. As an example a publication with two authors, one of whom gives credit to two institutions, will have three author shares.

Method for calculating publication points in the new publication indicator:

For a publication which is connected to more than one institution, the publication points are calculated as follows:

  1. Calculate the total number of author shares in the publication. An author share is each unique combination of author and institution in the publication
  2. Calculate how many author shares the institution has, and divide by the total number of author shares
  3. Calculate the square root of the number (the fraction) in section 2
  4. Multiply by points for the level ant publication form
  5. Multiply by 1,3 if the publication is connected to foreign institutions

For publications which are connected only to one institution only points for level and publication form should be used.

Published Nov. 1, 2017 2:32 PM - Last modified Oct. 11, 2018 2:52 PM