The Nordic List

Since 2015 the Nordic countries have been collaborating on common registry of authorized research publication channels. Denmark, Finland and Norway have already national lists of authorized research publication channels, used for indicators in the national performance-based research funding systems, while Sweden, Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands do not have a similar funding system but are planning to use such lists. NSD, Norwegian Centre for Research Data, is coordinating the project, and NordForsk is financing it. 

December 8 the steering group for the collaboration with representatives from the stakeholders met in Helsinki for update on the technical solution of the Nordic List and news from each country. The joined list will be consisting of top level bibliographic data on journals, series and publishers collected from the national registries, for example title, ISSN and Nordic List ID for each publication channel, and of national data on second level, for example national ranking level and comments concerning the rankings. The participating organizations will use the Nordic List to gather and compare data on publication channels with the aim to reduce and share the burden and costs of maintaining, updating and validating the bibliographic data, to provide higher quality and to facilitate both national and comparatively analyses of research output.

Sweden will be using the Nordic List as a tool for creating a national registry of authorized research publication channels. In Sweden the need is not to rank publication channels rather than only mark them as scientific and peer-reviewed for analyses purposes. Sweden will firstly list all of the publication channels that are accepted in the other lists. If a publication channel is accepted in one of the lists but not in the others, the Research Council, with the help of panels, will assess the channel as well as the channels that are not assessed by none of the other Nordic countries earlier. The latter assessments will be based on data from the national database for research outputs, Swepub.

ISSN is used for matching the national registries in joined list. It works well for the journals but for series it is more problematic because of the mere fact that all series do not have ISSN. Also publishers are more difficult to match since ISBN is publication-specific identificator, not identificator for publishers. Because of the lack of other useful identificators, like ISNI as organizational identificator, among the data from the national databases, matching has to be based on titles. This acquires manual control for checking typos and other types of errors to avoid that matching fails and causes duplicates. Publication channels in the Nordic List will be classified according to OECD:s Fields of Research and Development classification. Even this requires some manual work to match the national classifications.

The Nordic List application and database will be hosted in a cloud solution and available via API. In a first phase, starting Q1 2018, access will be restricted to the contributing stakeholders and in a second phase these restrictions will be removed. However, the price of the cloud solution will be affected by the amount of users accessing it and therefore it is not decided how many users can be accepted. The running and maintaining costs of the List will be shared by the participating countries. The collaboration will report to NordForsk on the project this spring.


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