The School of Business and Economics, aiming for high quality research, maintains an ambitious system of allocation of research funds, based on the assessment of output. Funds are translated to full time equivalents, which are distributed among the members of staff, according to their relative performance in terms of (research-based) publications.

The research funding is meant for members of the scientific staff with an appointment on the account of the university ('eerste geldstroom') or on a structural externally funded position. PhD students and post-docs are not entitled to research funding, other than the funding agreed upon at the start of their contract.

Entitlements to research funding are expressed in percentages of full-time equivalents. A maximum of 50 percent can be allocated. The percentage obtained ought to be multiplied with the employment factor (wtf) and reduced by possible budget cuts, to arrive at the number of working hours to be dedicated to research. The minimum research time is 20 percent (= 1,16 credits in 2020).

Rules for assessment

The assessment of research output is based on the classification of the five best publications out of the past five years. These five titles are selected by the researcher from the national research database Pure, which is updated throughout the year, most of the time by the researcher himself.

The ranking of the journals is based on the journal’s Article Influence Score, which can be found on the ISI Web of Knowledge (Additional Resources → Journal Citation Reports). A journal’s weight is derived from the Article Influence percentile. If the AIp is available for the year of publication, that value will be used. If the publication is too recent, the most recent AIp will be used. The most recent table can be found here.

To determine the journal’s weight, the percentile is first divided by 100, and then squared.

For a single-authored journal publication, the amount of credits obtained is simply equal to the journal’s weight in the year that the article was published. With multiple authors, that weight is multiplied by 0.75 to obtain the number of credits.

Dissertations receive 0.45 credits. In addition, dissertations that are reissued as monograph by a scientific publisher will be treated as such.

The listed publishers are classified as A or B; publications with non-listed publishers receive no credits. Single-authored monographs receive 0.85 credits for an A publisher and 0.60 for a B publisher. These scores are multiplied by 0.75 in case of multiple authors. Researchers can submit a maximum of one monograph for the allocation of research time.

Book reviews are not included in the assessment. Other short journal publications - including editorials (for edited special issues), comments, very short notes, etc. - may qualify for inclusion provided they make a sufficient scientific contribution. Judgements are to be made by a temporary committee. The number of pages is of no consequence for the credits attributed.

Summarising, the following credits are attributed:

Single author
Multiple authors



In general, there will be no deviations from the journal weights thus defined, with the following exceptions:

1. Accounting
It has become clear that accounting journals are exceptionally poorly represented in Web of Science, and the scores of the journals that are included in the Web of Science are very low. For that reason, we use the Scopus SJR journal (Percentile) list to map the Accounting journal list. This results in a system that allows accounting to be evaluated comparably to AIP despite the absence of most journals. You will find the mapping list here.

2. Unintended outlets
Researchers qualifying for research time are expected to publish in journals that are natural outlets for the fields in which they are active. When journals outside those fields are used and lead to disproportional amounts of credits being earned, the SBE Board may consult a temporary committee and decide to block the future use of those journals in the research allocation system.

Changed regulations for allocation of research time 2021

SBE has made adjustments to its research time allocation system. The basic principles remain that we value quality over quantity of publications and that researchers have autonomy in publishing decisions. The following changes will become effective for research time allocation for 2021:

1.      We will use the three-year moving average of AIPs

Starting from 2019, we will use the three-year moving average of Article Influence Percentiles (AIPs) to smoothen fluctuations in these scores. For publications in 2019, we will use the average of the AIP scores for 2017, 2018, and 2019. For 2020 publications, the three-year moving average for 2019 will be used until the 2020 AIP scores become available (the moving average will then be calculate based upon 2018, 2019, and 2020 scores). These moving averages will also be used for career track evaluations. For older publications, we will continue to use the annual AIP scores so that these scores stay the same, and there will be no (potentially) unpleasant surprises.

2.      Publications in top journals will count for six or seven years instead of five

Top journal publications may count one or two years longer. This recognizes that publications in top journals are a signal of high quality and have exceptional impact, yet require a long time to get accepted and are subject to high risks. Specifically, publications in journals with AIP 0.96 will count for six years and with AIP ≥0.97 for seven years, starting from the moment of online publication or final publication (depending upon the author’s preference). So, whereas regular papers published in 2020 may count for research time in the period 2021-2025, publications in journals with AIP ≥0.97 may count for the years 2021-2027). These extensions also hold for publications from earlier years, so you can profit one or two years longer from top journal publications from the past.

3.      Researchers have the option to use one of the five publication slots for an article-level citation-based score

Some publications outside top journals are highly cited and have a disproportionally high impact in their field. To recognize this and to stimulate attention for the impact of publications, you get the option to earn research time based upon citations for one article. This is also aligned with the principle of autonomy (acknowledging that scientific impact can be reached in multiple ways)and enable adaptation to new topics and new journals (as article-level citation scores are available much earlier than journal-based metrics).

How does it work?

  • For one publication, you have the option to choose either the AI percentile of the journal or the citation percentile of the publication, to calculate publication points.
  • We use the citation-percentile as offered in Scopus  (as these are not available in Web of Science). If you enter your name, a list of publications with the number of citations will appear. When you click on the title of the publication, you will see a new page with the metrics of the publication. You will find the percentile on the right. This reflects the percentile score of its citations as compared to articles of roughly the same age. Because Scopus contains more than twice as many journals as Web of Science, the citation-based percentile needs to be adjusted by doubling the distance to the top percentile (e.g., 0.96 becomes 0.92). This adjusted score needs to be squared, just like AI percentiles, and multiplied by 0.75 for co-authored publications.
  • The same 5-year window will be used: for research time in 2021, the citation percentile of one paper published between 2016-2020 could count.
  • Articles need to have at least 10 Scopus citations as a minimum.
  • The optional replacement of one journal-level score for an article-level score only holds for research time allocation, not for career track decisions. The career track has separate criteria for citations.

4.      Optional transition to online publication dates

You have the option to use the date your publication appears first online instead of the date they appear in an issue (as we do now). This matters when there is a long time-lag between the first time a paper appears online (often soon after acceptance) and the moment it appears in a (paper) issue. If you choose this option, the date of “first publication” as indicated on the journal’s website is decisive. The five-year window of evaluation will remain the same. So, if you transition to using “online first” publication dates, you can benefit earlier from publications, but they will also move out of the evaluation window earlier. You have to inform SBE’s Research Office if you opt for moving to “online first” publication dates. This choice applies to all publications simultaneously and is permanent – it cannot be changed from year to year.

5.      Publications need to be available open access to count (if possible)

To count for research time, publications have to be available open access, unless no route to do so is available. The open access requirement can be met through one of the following routes:

·        golden route: publishing in full open-access journal (e.g., PLOS One);
·        hybrid route: using the option to make a paper open access in a regular journal (e.g. covered by  VSNU deals ; see;
·        fast green route: making it public in the VU repository by participating in the “You share, we take care” project. In this project, the VU library will automatically make publications open-access after six months; the only thing         researchers need to do is to indicate their participation through  this online form. See also the  Q&A about “You share, we take care.”

This rule does not hold for:

  • Books
  • Publications created while the author was not at a Dutch university.
  • Papers published before 2018 (as the VU library will only work back until 2018).
  • Papers published in the last six months of the most recent year (as the “You share, we take care” project uses a six-month embargo)

6.      Datasets generated at VU have to be registered in Pure

For publications (from 2020 and later) that are based upon a dataset generated at VU, the dataset needs to be registered in Pure for the publication to count.

More and more researchers make their data openly available, thereby stimulating scientific progress and integrity of research, but also increasing citations to their work. Thus, the ambition of the VU and SBE is to make data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) where possible. Although there are various reasons why not all datasets can be made open / FAIR (e.g. privacy, confidentiality, ownership), a first step is possible for most studies: making datasets findable by registering them in Pure. VU Research Data Management policy stipulates that datasets generated at the VU must be registered in Pure. Please note that registration as dataset does not entail making the data public, nor storing it at a central location. Dataset registration only indicates the nature of the data, the place of storage, a contact person for the data, and possible way to get access. Those researchers who publish datasets along with a paper or in a discipline specific repository can link to those locations in their Pure registration. To maintain the autonomy of researchers we are not mandating to archive or publish it in one particular place.

This requirement does not apply to: (1) publications with no data (e.g. conceptual papers); (2) publications that reuse data from others; (3) data generated prior to employment at the VU; (4) data thatis generated by co-authors not at the VU; (5) data that is owned by others or where agreements prohibit making any meta-information about the data public. When submitting your publications to SBE’s Research Office you can explain why compliance is irrelevant or impossible. 

Former changes:

As of 2018, chapters and edited volumes will no longer receive credits for the allocation of research time.

To smoothen the transition between the previous ranking and the new one, the following rules will apply:

  • Chapters and edited volumes that are submitted before 2018 will still be taken into account for the allocation of research time for 2018.
  • For the allocation of research time for 2019 or later, this rule applies only if proof is provided that the commitment to publish the book, or make the contribution, was made before January 1 2018.
Single-authored contributions to an edited volume receive 0.45 for an A-publisher and 0.15 for a B-publisher. Also these scores are multiplied by 0.75 in case of multiple authors. If an author has contributed more than one contribution to an edited volume, the total amount of credits derived from this volume cannot exceed the credits attributed to a monograph issued by the same publisher.

Specific regulations

SBE has formulated some regulations for researchers on pregnancy and maternity leave, for part time researchers and for contract research:

Regulations for pregnancy and maternity leave
Researchers who have been on a pregnancy and maternity leave during that period, are allowed to submit their five best publications over the past six years.

Regulations for part time researchers
The special regulations for part time researchers are set out in the table below. The principle underlying this ruling is that part time researchers can spend less time in producing scientific output, compared to full time colleagues, and are allowed under this regulation to double count their best publication(s). The extent to which publications can be double counted depends on the researcher's appointment and can be read from the table below.

appointment fte (average) 5 or more publications4 publications   3 publications 
0.81-1.00  12345 1234123
0.71-0.80   123441234123
0.61-0.70  1233412344123
0.51-0.60  12234123341233
0.50 and less   11223122341223

1= best publication
2= second best publication, etc.

When a researcher has less than 3 publications, the score will not be adjusted. The average appointment in fte will be calculated over the part of the 5-year period during which the researcher was appointed at SBE.

Researchers who want to use this regulatuion must state this explicitly. They also have to show that they could not do any research outside the SBE-appointment (for example: a researcher who works for 0,5 fte at another faculty, is not allowed to appeal under this regulation.

Regulations for contract researchers
Departments receive a premium of 5000 euros for every fte of contract researchers, PhD students inclusive.    
The premium can be spent on research related activities (conferences, traveling, seminars, academic guests, research assistants, etc.).  .
The premium is only meant for contract researchers and not for researchers working on NWO grants.       
Contract researchers cannot appeal under the standard regulations for the allocation of research funding from the School.

Publishers List

The latest publishers list (2016) you will find here.

Cambridge University Press (also USA)
Edward Elgar Publishing
Elsevier (including Academic Press)
Emerald Group Publishing
Harvard University PressA
MIT Press Publishers Inc.A
Oxford University PressA
Palgrave Macmillan
Princeton University PressA
Sage Publishing
Taylor and Francis (including Ashgate, CRS Press, Chapman & Hall and Routledge for humanities, social sciences, behavioural sciences, law and education)
University of Chicago PressA