A list of scientific journals in Poland

Dear Researchers,

I would like to write a few words about the situation of science in Poland and ask you whether the situation described by me sounds familiar to you.

Last year, the Ministry of Science in Poland published a list of approved, rated scientific journals (the long-awaited document was published on July 31). This is a crucial document for thousands of Polish scientists, which includes 29,000 scientific journal titles.

The academic achievements of faculties in Poland are evaluated according to the points received by scientists for publications. The researchers are expected to provide the appropriate number of points for the university. They are expected to publish in the “right places”.The more points you get for publications, the higher the budget subsidy for your university.

The Ministry of Science evaluated tens of thousands of scientific journals from around the world, assigned them to specific disciplines and determined their values in points. The entire quality assessment of research conducted by Polish universities (for the period 2017-2020) will depend on this list.

Scientists have found mistakes and questionable decisions that could indicate political interference in the assessment (for example journals publishing articles critical of the current right-wing government in Poland received a low number of points, many prestigious journals are not on the list at all etc.).

Thank you for the opportunity to share this fact with you.

Joanna RoĹ›


Hi Joanna and welcome to the forum! :wave:

Can you post the document here, or is there a way to have access to it?

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Here is the link to the document titled “List of scientific journals and reviewed materials from international conferences together with the assigned number of points. Annex to the announcement of the Minister of Science and Higher Education (July 31, 2019)”.


The document was published on the website of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.


Definitely similar problems in indonesia. When i have time, i would look at the document provided to comment more. :slight_smile:


Thank you for sharing the list @Joanna_Ros!

Out of curiosity, how many points a early career researcher is suppossed to score to, for instance, access a permanent position?

Thank you for your message!

Universities have their own parameters - some are openly announced by the university authorities (they can be found in the regulations and on the university’s websites), others are based on internal arrangements.

Here is the fragment of the document entitled “Publishing obligations of employees conducting scientific activities in years 2017-2020 at the Economic University in Wrocław, Poland, resulting from the Regulation of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education”:

"Each employee should gain 1 “publication measure” per year - (it’s about the author’s participation in the publication. An article that was written by one author receives 1 “publication measure”. If an article has many authors, the number decreases). It is not recommended to gain more than 4 “publication measure” in the years 2017-2020.

It is recommended to publish articles only in those magazines and monographs that were included in “The ministerial list of magazines and monographs”. The recommended minimum total point value of publication is 20 points (for the field of social sciences). Compliance with this criterion increases the chances of the university for acquiring the B + category in social science disciplines.

The topic of scientific publications must be related to the discipline declared by the employee in his statement on the represented scientific discipline. It is recommended that employees publish articles in journals which, according to the ministry’s list, represent scientific discipline consistent with the discipline declared by the employee.

For articles in monographs published by scientific publishers indicated on the minister’s list, a scientist cannot exceed 2 “publication measure” for 2017-2020.

When planning the publication of articles in monographs, the scientist should report this fact to the dean, because the limit of this type of achievements that can be reported by the university for the purposes of its scientific evaluation are much lower than the respective individual limits."

For comparison, the publishing obligations at the Medical University of Wrocław are as follows: at least 4 “publication measure” and the minimum point value of the journal not less than 100 points.

Many researchers draw attention to the problem of publishing the Ministerial List in mid-2019. It means that the scientist who at the beginning of 2019 published the article in an English journal received 15 points for it, although it the middle of the last year the same journal received 100 points. It’s harmful to those centers and scientists who did not wait for almost a year for the ministerial announcement.

Researchers who are applying for their first university job must submit publications from the Ministry’s list, but universities do not indicate the number of points.


Just to confirm, there is an upper limit on how much scientists should or can publish in Poland? If so, this is a very unusual policy if so…

An article that was written by one author receives 1 “publication measure”. If an article has many authors, the number decreases.

This is an interesting policy. I don’t think it’s a good idea to discourage collaborations (which this policy might) but it could be helpful to encourage fairer attribution of authorship and stop people from jumping on papers as middle authors without really contributing much of value.

Dear Gavin Taylor,

thank you for paying attention to this comment.

From now on, every researcher must submit their achievements for evaluation - so far the faculties have only submitted the best employees for evaluation. Yes, researchers should indicate no more that 4 publications (over 4 years) for evaluation, which aims to reduce the phenomenon of a mass publication of articles. This is called, officially, the “achievement limit”. The ministry points out that the old rules made it more profitable for Polish scientists to write many poor quality scientific articles than work on a few good ones that could be published in prestigious magazines and easily evaluated. The introduced mechanism is to ensure that Polish scientists will be evaluated only on the basis of the required publications.

When assessing universities (and thus deciding whether they will be able to confer doctoral degrees, what budget they will get), the ministry will ask for a list of the achievements of all researchers and the university will be able to submit only 4 “publication measure” from each of them for a period of 4 years. The ministry will simply not take into account the additional publishing achievements. They will not affect the status of the university, so you should not do more than you need, but only well plan the place of the publication of the required 4 to get as many points as possible.

I agree with you that two issues arise here - will this policy scare scientists away from cooperation, or “stop people from jumping on papers”, as you wrote?

And setting a minimum/maximum for everyone is worrying.


CORRECTION: Yes, researchers should indicate no more that “4 publication measures” (over 4 years) for evaluation. (Not 4 publications, but “4 publication measure”.)

Thank you @Joanna_Ros for sharing all these info! It is very interesting.

Some criteria seem to be there for good reasons (e.g. the limited publication measures to be sent to evaluation) and I agree with @Gavin than the fact that you do not get many points in shared publication could discourage researchers to put their name in reports they did not contribute to.

Other criteria, such as the ones of the Medical University of Wrocław, are much more stressing and definitely leading to “publish or perish” behaviours I am afraid.

In general, and I say this from a very personal point of view, all these criteria have nothing to do with good science and just give me headache!

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Few days ago, the Polish Commissioner of Human Rights pointed out that the principles of evaluation of scientific journals for the years 2017-2020 had not been known to academic staff until mid-2019, but according to the minister, there are “many countries” in which the authorities knowingly indicate evaluation criteria at the end of the evaluation period, so as not to “deform scholars’ interests and research directions” That in countries where the highest scientific standards prevail, scientists do not know in advance how they will be evaluated… Journalists asked the minister to indicate in which countries this practice is used, but the ministry has not yet replied.

Do you have any insights on this?

As @surya pointed out above, this is very similar in Indonesia. I applied for a position there and was concerned by the publication requirements that are very specific for each open position: X number of publications per year in international journals, X number of them had to be in Tier 1 journals, no publications could be in journals with lower tier than 2 (or maybe 3), X number had to be as first author, etc. In my case, I was required to publish 4 articles per year in line with the criteria above. Several of the new metascience journals in my field were not on the list of journals I could publish in. I ended up withdrawing my application for that position.

Another thing practiced in Indonesia is that the authors are paid by their universities for each publication they have in an international journal. And by paid I mean a really high pay: 1000-5000 EUR per article (amount differ depending on journal ranking, & possibly also author position). Heavy incentives for questionable practices. I know @HarryManley has reported similar problems in Thailand.

Is it the same in Poland, @Joanna_Ros? Do researchers get paid for each publication?

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I have fought against this system in indonesia for the past few years, written for or being written in national and international media, collaborated with fellow indonesian open science team, reported corruption because of this regulation (with plenty of incontrovertible proof to the presidential task force for citizen feedback), liaise with house of representative members, tried to organize numerous lecturer organizations, and a lot more activities i think i have forgotten (as this phenomena used to consume my life).

There are a lot more nuance to the story which i can share in person.

For now, i would say this. I think one of the main impetus for this kind of regulation is the perception that public/state fund is limited due to neoliberal understanding of public/state finances. A full understanding of the state financial capacity and capability would help in dismantling this kind of regulation at its root.

I know i should explain this much further but i am pressed for time now. I hope to reply more later. :slight_smile: