Steering group and background
The Steering Group is composed of the members of the working group that drafted the proposal for the peer-review label. The group is responsible for further development of the label and for solving potential problems emerging from its use.
- Ilkka Niiniluoto (chairman)
- Jukka Haapamäki, Ministry of Education and Culture
- Anne Mäntynen, Finnish Association of Scholarly Publishing
- Tero Norkola, Finnish Literature Society
- Tuomas Seppä
- Janne Pölönen, Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (secretary)
The planning for the label was launched in the spring of 2013 when the representatives of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV), the Finnish Association of Scholarly Publishing and the Ministry of Education and Culture convened to discuss on how to harmonise the quality assurance practices and the definition of peer-review on the national level as well as to improve the transparency of the process. The discussions led to the conclusion that the objectives could be best served through a mark identifying peer-reviewed texts, requiring that the scholarly publishers using the mark would adhere to joint qualitative and ethical standards as well as to regular documentation of the review process. One starting point of the discussions was the Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content label registered by the publisher association of Flanders. However, the Finnish group found that this model was excessively heavy to manage.
Among the Finnish publishers, the Finnish Literature Society (SKS) had already introduced a seal to identify peer-reviewed books. Certain scholarly and scientific journals had also started to mark writings that had undergone quality assurance so that it was possible to distinguish peer-reviewed texts unambiguously from those that had not undergone such review (for example, the Historiallinen aikakauskirja (Historical Journal) and the Tiedepolitiikka-lehti (Science policy journal)). Instead of each book publisher or journal marking the peer-reviewed publications according to their own practices, the representatives of TSV, the Finnish Association of Scholarly Publishing and the Ministry of Education and Culture found it important to establish common ground rules for Finnish scholarly publishers.
The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies instituted a working group which accepted the assignment to draft a proposal on the national label of peer-reviewed publications. During the drafting phase, the group consulted Executive Director Aura Korppi-Tommola of TSV and Secretary General Sanna-Kaisa Spoof of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK). The qualitative and ethical standards related to the working group’s proposal were mainly based on the peer-review guidelines adopted and published by the Finnish Association of Scholarly Publishing in 2009, complemented by TENK’s instructions of 2012 entitled Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland.
The working group proposed that the label be registered as a trademark owned by either TSV, the Finnish Book Publishers Association or the Finnish Association of Scholarly Publishing. Among these alternatives, the working group opted for TSV because TSV’s statutory tasks include the development of scholarly information and publication operations. Academic publication is an integral part of the member societies’ activities, and the promotion of these operations is included in TSV's strategy. TSV is also responsible for distributing the State publishing subsidies to learned societies as well as for managing and developing the Publication Forum. Moreover, the Committee for the Public Information (TJNK) and the National Advisory Board on Research Ethics (TENK), responsible for discussion the ethical questions and alleged violations in scholarly publication, operate under the auspices of TSV. On 3 December 2013, the Board of TSV made a resolution to register the label for peer-reviewed publications in the name of TSV. The label, designed by graphic artist Heikki Kalliomaa, was introduced in the autumn of 2014.