Level 1 can be awarded to domestic and foreign journals, series and conferences considered to be most important from the Finnish research perspective, as well as book publishers who meet the criteria of an academic publication channel:
- specialised in the publication of scientific or scholarly research outcomes;
- editorial board constituted by experts;
- entire manuscripts of scientific or scholarly articles or books subject to peer review;
- registered ISSN or ISBN number.
As a main rule, a publication channel meeting the criteria of an academic publication channel are not included in Level 1 if:
- over half (1/2) of the referees and authors represent a single research organisation (such as publication series or doctoral dissertation series of universities and research institutes);
- the relevance or quality of research raises questions.
The Panels need not award Level 1 to publication channels formally meeting the criteria if their factual quality or relevance is questionable. Therefore, it is possible to exclude certain open access channels with questionable operating principles or other channels which publish scholarly writings for a fee or other consideration but without proper quality assessment.