Kriterium – To certify the quality of swedish research

Text written by Maja Pelling (Gothenburg University Library). Questions from Stockholm University Press. Photo: Caroline Swartling.

What is Kriterium?

Kriterium provides an infrastructre for review, publication and dissemination of high-quality academic books, in accordance with the principles of open access. Kriterium is a new quality label for Swedish academic books.

To receive the Kriterium stamp of approval, the publications undergo stringent peer review according to set guidelines. All books with the Kriterium label will be freely available through open access, in print as well as online.

Who benefits from using Kriterium?

Initially, Kriterium is aimed primarily for researchers at Swedish universities who want to publish scientific books within humanities and social sciences.

After the pilot phase, and depending on the recommendations of the evaluation, the range subject areas could be expanded.

How do you think Kriterium can help Swedish researchers? What are the needs?

Kriterium-logo_greenBooks are an important publication form for researchers from a range of disciplines, but are sometimes disregarded since they currently do not undergo the same kind of overt quality review that journal articles do.

Kriterium labelling intends to address this issue by offering a clear stamp of approval that indicates the good quality of a work and its satisfactory academic level. This will be achieved through peer review by mutually independent reviewers, according to clear criteria.

The goal is to both improve the status of books as a medium in Sweden and, within an international perspective, to certify the quality of Swedish research results using the same method as other countries.

How will Kriterium be working with peer review?

The peer review will be made by external and mutually independent reviewers, according to clear criteria. The peer-review process will be co-ordinated by an academic co-ordinator who appoints reviewers in consultation with Kriterium’s academic review board, taking into account the Swedish Research Council’s current conflict of interest policy as well as other aspects.

How can Kriterium become a high status brand both nationally and internationally?

Kriterium was formally launched on the 5th of November, 2015. During the coming months, we will focus on communicating Kriterium primarily to researchers, publishing companies and other Swedish universities.

A major focus will be to attract more scripts for publication. Already, six manuscripts have started the peer-review process.

How will you collaborate with other Swedish and international stakeholders about open access scholarly communications?

We have already established a close cooperation with Ubiquity Press, Makadam Förlag, Nordic Academic Press and the Acta Series. We are open for co-operation with other actors as well.

Can you consider collaborating with any publishers for distribution of printed books?

We are primarily aiming at publishing companies with some experience in and interest in publishing academic books. But no doors are closed at the moment, we would like as many actors as possible to discover the possibilities Kriterium can offer.


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