- 1 General information about publication of research
- 2 Forms of publication
- 3 Peer review
- 4 Registration of research
- 5 The bibliometric research indicator
- 6 ORCID/ResearcherID
- 7 Duty to publish?
- 8 Overlapping and duplicate publications
- 9 Use of other people’s material
- 10 Barriers to publishing
General information about publication of research
Publication of research results means that the research results are published for the benefit of science and society in general. The publication can also lead to a quality assurance process in the form of peer reviews, referee or another form of peer review. The freedom to publish research is an important element of researchers’ access to dissemination and freedom of expression. Both researchers and research institutions are largely measured by their publication of research (“publish or perish”). See below for research registration and bibliometrics.
The publication of research mainly takes the form of articles in scientific journals and monographs (books and dissertations), but can also be done in other ways. Publication usually takes place via academic publishers who have traditionally published scientific publications commercially. In recent years, various models for publishing with open access and creative commons have gained ground. As a researcher, it is important to pay attention to the publishing agreements you enter into. You can read more about this in the article on publishing agreements here on Forskerportalen.
Publication of research results must be done in accordance with good scientific practice, and must respect the copyright of third parties and comply with the GDPR.
If research results include elements that can be protected by patent (or obtain utility model protection), you should be aware that this protection requires non-disclosure of the invention until a patent application (or an application for protection as a utility model) has been filed, see rights to research.
Denmark’s Electronic Research Librafy (DEFF) has set up a website, en.startpublicering.nu, which provides useful information about publication of research.
Forms of publication
There are different traditions for the publication of research results within the various disciplines: While the scientific article is often dominant, monographs also play an important role within the “drier” disciplines.
Some major forms of publication include:
- Doctoral thesis
- PhD thesis
- Research paper
- Scientific book/anthology
- Research report
- Scientific reviews, comments and discussion papers
- Working papers, preprints
- Conference contributions (articles, posters, etc.)
- Multimedia publications (podcasts, webcasts, etc.)
- Other (including software, exhibitions and datasets)
Publication is often done through academic publishers who have traditionally published scientific publications commercially. In this connection, researchers should ensure that they enter into appropriate publishing agreement. In recent years, various models for publishing with open access have gained ground.
Peer review is the assessment of a scientific product made by fellow scientists (peers or referees). The assessment relates to the product’s scientific quality and is mainly used to assure the quality of research publications before publishing. According to the Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (page 11), researchers must carry out peer reviews and editorial work in an honest and impartial manner.
The peer review may be completely or partially anonymous: When the identity of the reviewers is not revealed, it is a so-called “blind peer review“and if the reviewers are not informed about the authors’ identity, it is a so-called “double blind peer review“.
In Denmark peer review is defined as follows (our translation) by the Bibliometric Research Indicator (BFI) Steering Committee, see note from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation of 18 December 2007:
Peer evaluation of a manuscript involves writing an assessment demonstrating its scientific quality.
In addition, peer reviews must meet the following requirements:
1. Peer review is always done before publication.
Peer review is a process which always takes place prior to publication. It is part of the publishing process. Thus a book review cannot be defined as a peer review.
2. At least one reviewer must be external to the publisher/institution.
A manuscript (be it a book or an article) should at least be reviewed by one external reviewer who is an expert in the field. There are no requirements as to whether an external reviewer is known or anonymous.
3. Reviewers must be research experts
An external reviewer must have at least research skills at PhD level. Both national and international reviewers can be used, and reviewers can be called in from any environment, provided they meet the minimum requirement.
The assessment of PhD dissertations meets the above-mentioned peer review requirements, cf. section 16 of the PhD Executive Order. In practice, the assessment of a doctoral thesis will normally meet these conditions, but under the Executive Order on Doctoral Degrees there is no formal requirement that at least one reviewer must be external to the institution, cf. section 8 of the Executive Order on Doctoral Degrees.
The scientific journals and publishers that use peer review have usually established rules governing this.
- European Peer Review Guide – Integrating Policies and Practices into Coherent Procedures (European Science Foundation, 2011)
- The Vancouver Rules on peer review (ICMJE), which are available here.
- Debate web page about the value of peer reviews on the website of the journal Nature
Registration of research
The Danish National Research Database aims to provide a single central and easy access point to Danish research. It is based on the systems for research registration used at the individual research institutions. Almost all Danish universities and a number of other research institutions use the “PURE” system for research registration.
Research registration is a prerequisite for calculating the part of the universities’ core funding that depends on the bibliometric research indicator (BFI).
The bibliometric research indicator
Since 2012, 25% of the universities’ basic funding has been allocated according to the bibliometric research indicator (BFI), which aims to reflect the research activities of Danish universities. The BFI measures the number of publications in a way that seeks to reward the most recognised publication channels within each subject, while taking into account the different publishing traditions that exist in the various fields.
You can read more about the bibliometric research indicator at: https://bfi.fi.dk and on the website of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
The bibliometric research indicator has been subject to criticism and was evaluated in 2012. See Gunnar Sivertsen and Jesper Schneider, Evaluering av den bibliometriske forskningsindikator, Report 17/12 from Nordisk institutt for studier av innovasjon, forskning og utdanning (NIVU), available here.
Researchers can get a unique identifier which ensures correct identification of researchers and their publications. This is can be essential, particularly if the researcher changes name. You can read more about this at www.orcid.org og www.researcherid.com.
Duty to publish?
The Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (2014) has no mention of a general duty to publish research results.
Some fields are assumed to hold an obligation to publish research results, even (or especially) when they fall short of prior expectations or desires (negative findings). You can read more about this in
Overlapping and duplicate publications
See separate article on this
Use of other people’s material
Research is based on existing knowledge, and it is therefore quite natural that scientific publications are based on other people’s material – such as their publications, conference presentations, ideas and the like. There are rules for the use of other people’s material which are essential for researchers to know.
See Forskerportalen’s articles on
- Good citation practice and reproduction of artistic works etc.
- Research collaborations (about the use of research data for “own” publications and research projects)
Barriers to publishing
Any confidentiality obligations must be respected when publishing research results. These may arise out of legislation, for example the Danish Trade Secrets Act, or a result of concluded agreements such as non-disclosure agreements entered into as part of research collaborations.
See also research freedom.
In some cases, prior publication of research results in the mass media and the like may prevent publication. See DCSD’s Guidelines on publication matters (2009), p. 41.
Patent or utility model protection
If research results include elements that can be protected by patent (or get utility model protection), you should be aware that this protection requires non-disclosure of the invention until a patent application (or an application for protection as a utility model) has been filed, see Legal protection of research results.
Legal Rules on Data Protection
Data protection laws must be observed if the publication involves the processing of personal data, see Research that involves personal data.