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The Research Council of Norway warns against research magazines with paid content.

Norwegian researchers regularly receive requests for interviews from magazines such as International Innovation and Science and Technology. Be aware that these magazines invoice researchers from NOK 20,000 and upwards for publication.

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Several employees of UiB have also been contacted by these magazines, and it is easy to be tempted into giving an interview. Representatives of the magazine approach you as a researcher directly, and ask about the possibility of an interview.

Often by e-mail; you will find an example of a request (in English) here. If you say yes, you will be sent a list of questions to answer. In some cases there is some communication by telephone. The same questions are repeated again and again, case by case. The answers will be printed with little or no editing.

The communication department at UiB wishes to emphasise that we know very little about the catchment area or the effect of such use of money, and who in actual fact reads these magazines. 

Thomas Evensen, the department director at the communication unit of the Research Council of Norway (NFR), advises researchers to keep away from such magazines.

“The Research Council of Norway has repeatedly called for reader surveys from these magazines, but has never received them”, Evensen emphasises.

Dissemination of research or advertising?

It is important that you as a researcher are conscious of what you get when paying for an editorial publication. These articles are located in a grey zone between dissemination of research and marketing, and can be perceived as having little credibility.

The magazines have regular coverage of decision makers at national and international level, government ministers, research managers and EU politicians, with the aim of appearing to be more serious. The publishers place great emphasis on the fact that the magazines are distributed in the EU and that they influence decision makers.

The communication department at UiB and NFR have no proof that decision makers are reading these magazines.