Skip to main content

The Bibliometric Research Indicator (BFI)

The Bibliometric Research Indicator will be phased out with immediate effect as a result of the political agreement of 3 December 2021 "Aftale om basismidler til forskning".

The Bibliometric Research Indicator awards research output published in the most prestigious publication channels within the research subject in question. The BFI system is maintained by The Ministry of Higher Education and Science but The University Library of Southern Denmark offers to answer the most common questions regarding BFI and how BFI affects your work as a researcher. Contact for more information.

The BFI model

The BFI model is used by the Danish state to allocate research funding to Danish universities. The model benefits research published in nationally as well as internationally recognized publishing channels. Publishing channels is a term used for journals, publishers, book series as well as, in special cases, conference series.
Every year all Danish universities' research output is harvested. Following this harvest the research output is awarded BFI points corresponding to what extent certain parameters set forth by the BFI model are met. 
BFI points are calculated backwards. The annual BFI harvest is based on the university's research registrations in Pure the previous spring. The final BFI points will be distributed in the autumn.
Research publications published in a publication channel admitted on one of the two BFI lists can be awarded BFI points. 
On the BFI lists publication series are divided into three levels and publishers are divided into two levels. The higher the level of the publication channel, the more BFI points the publication are awarded.  Publications meeting the requirements for being a BFI publication are awarded BFI points according to publication type:
Publication type Niveau 1  Niveau 2 Niveau 3
Monograph awarded on publisher 8 -
Monograph awarded on book series 5 8 -
Contribution in anthology awarded on publisher 0,5 2 -
Article in journal, book series, or conference contribution  1 3 5
Doctoral theses and patents are not divided into levels. They are awarded following points:
Doctoral theses 5
Patents 1

BFI points are allocated to peer reviewed research publications registrered in Pure and published in recognized publication channels. Publications must introduce new knowledge in order to be considered research in the BFI model. You can read more on how these terms are defined in these guidelines here. The criteria regarding publication channel means publications must be published with particularly recognized publishers, journals, books series or conference series. These are named publication channels in the BFI model.  You can read more on publication channels below.
A BFI publication is a publication that triggers BFI points. This means a publication meeting the following criteria:
  • It is registered in Pure within the year is it published or early  spring in the following year.
  • At least one author on the publication is affiliated to SDU.
  • It belongs to one of the categories in Pure the ministry regard as being  research. These categories are 'Research' and 'Commissioned'.
Publication channels are either publishers, journals, books series or conference series. In order for the specific publication channel to trigger BFI points it must be admitted on a specific lists called either The BFI list of series or The BFi list of publishers. All lists are managed by 67 expert panels managing one subject area each although overlaps occur. The expert panels consist of appointed researchers from Danish universities. Conference series is a term used only in the BFI model. Thus, it is not possible to see directly if your contribution belongs to a conference series triggering BFI points. It is the Pure Office at SDU's responsibility to connect existing conference series in Pure if any are to be found.
BFI lists (previously called authority lists) are comprehensive lists of the channels able to trigger BFI points. There are two different lists. One is for series and another is for publishers. The list for series consists of journals, book series and conference series. 
The lists are dynamics since they can be revised every year of the designated expert committees.  The current lists can always be found on the web page of the ministry.
The expert panels evaluate which publication channels should be able to trigger BFI points. There are 67 expert panels and SDU is represented in 54 of them. SDU is represented in all of the subject areas relevant for SDU. The members of the expert panels are appointed by Danish Universities. It is also decided by the expert panels on what level a publication channel should be on. They can choose from level 1, 2 and 3. Only some expert panels have decided to introduce level 3.  It is possible to suggest publication channels to the expert panels. They will then process the suggestions in the expert panel for the relevant subject area.  You can read more on the expert panels on the web page of the ministry.
The Ministry of Higher Education and Science has presented a definition of both research and peer review in BFI context. These definitions are solely developed by the ministry for BFI uses. 
You can read them in this pdf.


Resignation from an expert panel is announced by the member to the expert panel chairman or to Danish Universities, which asks SDU’s coordinator for BFI to propose a new member. SDU’s coordinator then asks the dean of the faculty in question to nominate a new member, which the coordinator then notifies the Danish Universities, which appoints the new member.
As a researcher you are resposible  for registering all your research carried out at SDU in Pure. Research output should be registered in Pure four times yearly to ensure the data can be validated and ready for the annual BFI harvest. It is also your resposibility to register correctly if the contribution is research and if it has gone through peer review.  If you wish to know more on how research and peer review is defined in BFI you can consult this document: Guidelines for registering research for the Danish Bibliometric Research Indicator If you are unsure of how to interpret these guidelines in your specific research field please consult your Head of department.
If you are Head of department you have specific resposibilities regarding BFI. When new research entries are added to Pure affiliated to your department it is your task to move the entries to the 'approved' workflow and in that process approving the scietific quality of the entry. As Head of department you are therefore required to thoroughly consider if the research is indeed research if claimed and if a peer review process has taken place in each instance.  If you delegated this task in Pure your resposibility remains the same.
You can ensure the correct amount of BFI points by registering your publications in Pure. At the very least you should make sure they are all registered within the current year.  When registering your publications you should thoroughly consider if your publication in question is research, teaching or comissioned and if it has been peer reviewed or not.   The University Library of Southern Denmark will validate all publications in Pure in order to ensure the correct metadata is connected before the BFI harvest if it is added  to Pure in time.  This is done after the publication has been approved by the Head of department in Pure.
The University of Southern Denmark are given BFI delegated in main areas. After these points are received SDU divides the point further down at institute level.  The points are awarded to the institute of the first internal author on each publication.
The University of Southern Denmark does not divide BFI points down to person level.
Everyone can propose new publication channels to be added to the BFI lists. If you find, say a journal, you think is important enough to be added on the BFI list for series you can propose the journal to the relevant expert panel. Proposals are to be made in the BFI system. A login is required but everyone can create a user profile.
You can visit The ministry of Higher Education and Science if you wish to know more.

Last Updated 15.12.2021