Changes to the journal list for publication bonuses

By Kenneth Fjell, prorektor for forskning

19 December 2019 08:54

Changes to the journal list for publication bonuses

NHH has now revised its list of journals that confer a publication bonus. The goal was to find one well-defined list based on external criteria. I believe that we have succeeded in this.

NHH's strategy provides clear guidelines for ambitions related to publication activity. An obvious guideline is the ambition to publish research in international journals at the very highest level. NHH will place increased emphasis on international accreditation and position in important rankings by the Financial Times and other actors.

Our bonus system consists of two lists: NHH's bonus list for 'top publications' and the Financial Times (FT) list. The scheme is revised every third year.

In order to revise the scheme in 2019, we started the process of revision in the summer of 2018, and this spring, we decided to double our bonuses for publications on the FT list. At the same time, we continued the work on revising NHH's bonus list, and we underlined the importance of it being based on an external source.


Photo from the town hall meeting in December 2018 of the researchers who were granted publication bonus in 2018  (everyone wasn't present when the photo was taken). Photo: Sigrid Grøm Bakken

Challenges during the revision

The aim has been to find one well-defined external list that was fully endorsed by NHH's Research Committee (FFF).

There were compelling arguments to use the ABS4* journals as the basis for the bonus list. The ABS list is an extensive and methodologically-sound list focused on international business schools and has been a part of our strategy and our quality goals for many years (the Academic Journal Guide published by the Chartered Association of Business Schools is often called the ABS list).

However, the drawback was that this would mean a disproportionate shift in the number of academic journals per academic field, which was something we did not want. We would lose the language journals and interdisciplinary journals, and many of the economics journals. The number of economics journals would be significantly lower than today and considerably lower than for other external alternatives that we considered.

There was also, however, a range of journals in an array of other areas, such as administration and management, marketing, accounting, operational analysis, public administration, sociology and psychology.

A balanced list

We landed on a decision that we believe maintains a reasonable balance between the different fields at NHH, as well as having a basis in external rankings. The point of departure is all ABS4* journals, and it is very positive that all of these are now on the bonus list. We will also keep some of the ABS4 journals in order to balance the academic fields, but these will now be the highest ranked in accordance with the Scimago Journal Rank.

In addition, we are including two highly ranked journals from Scimago Journal Rank’s category 'Language and Linguistics', and keeping the two interdisciplinary journals 'Nature' and 'Science'. The new bonus list can be found in full at

Planned publications in journals removed from the list

As long as the articles are sent to the journal before 31 March 2020, the bonus will be paid as per the previous scheme.


We are now hoping that both of this year's revisions will stimulate the production of more articles published in top international journals.

At the same time, it is important for me to underline that all publications are important contributions for NHH. The best and most efficient way of boosting the position of NHH is if each and every one of us publishes a bit more and at a higher level in the coming years.

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