NEWS | 7 May 2020

Nordicom joins peer-review cooperation to strengthen the status of Nordic academic books

Nordicom has initiated cooperation with Kriterium, a Swedish platform for quality control and peer review of scientific Open Access books. Monographs and anthologies under consideration by Nordicom may now be sent to Kriterium for expert peer review, increased readership and a clear stamp of approval. The collaboration is a natural step for two organisations seeking to stimulate and support Swedish and Nordic research and researchers.

In the interest of promoting new Nordic media and communication research, Nordicom is now collaborating with Kriterium in order to offer expert peer-review options to authors publishing monographs and anthologies through Nordicom. Jonas Ohlsson, director and editor-in-chief at Nordicom, states:

The collaboration with Kriterium is an important step in our long-term aim to strengthen the quality of the research that we publish at Nordicom and to make us a more attractive publisher to Nordic researchers in our field.

Johannes Bjerling, editor at Nordicom, maintains that peer review processes “tend to increase the quality of what is being published”. However, as Åsa Arping, professor of comparative literature at the University of Gothenburg and editor-in-chief at Kriterium, explains, many times smaller publishers, especially with academic publishing and different series, “are not able to build the apparatus required”. In a small country like Sweden, many researchers, even those writing in English, may “find it difficult to get their scientific books expertly reviewed in a systematic way”, Arping says.

Thus, Kriterium focuses on research and researchers with a connection to Sweden, in order to provide support for both publishers and authors who lack a systematic and formal process for peer review. Though publishing books with a broader Nordic focus, Nordicom’s head offices are located in Gothenburg, Sweden – also the home of Kriterium. According to Ohlsson, Nordicom is “a small publisher with big aspirations”, and he describes how this partnership will enable Nordicom to improve their efforts to both strengthen the quality of research published and make it more widely and freely available.

Arping explains further benefits of the Kriterium quality label:

First of all, they will get a thorough peer-review of their work. Second, their research results will potentially achieve great dissemination, since works published with a Kriterium label are made available both in printed and digital form.

Most books reviewed by Kriterium are written in Swedish or English, but Arping assures other languages are possible as long as there are potential reviewers. All books with the Kriterium stamp of approval are published Open Access on their website. Thus, the goals and values of Kriterium and Nordicom are complementary, Ohlsson thinks:

Nordicom is an independent non-profit publisher and our philosophy when it comes to the importance of free dissemination of new research, not only in English but also in the Scandinavian languages, is very much in line with that of Kriterium.

Beyond expert peer review and increased dissemination, there are more benefits for authors. Bjerling explains that books with the Kriterium stamp of approval will render authors publishing points – Kriterium appears on the Norwegian list – and this should hopefully make publishing with Nordicom even more attractive.


Are you interested in submitting a book proposal?

Nordicom welcomes book proposals with relevance to, for example, democracy, welfare, gender equality, freedom of expression, public service and media structure. Proposals with topics high on the public or political agenda or with potential policy implications are particularly welcome.

To submit a book proposal, please contact Johannes Bjerling, editor (


About Kriterium

Kriterium is a collaborative venture between Swedish universities and Swedish publishers, with representatives from the Swedish Research Council, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and the National Library of Sweden.

Visit Kriterium’s webpage:

To read more about the collaboration between Nordicom and Kriterium, visit NordMedia Network: