Research-based advice and authority service

IGN solves advisory tasks for companies, municipalities, agencies and ministries. The advice is usually delivered in the form of a report, which in many cases leads to changed practice, which can also save the company money.


The Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (IGN) performs advisory tasks for businesses, municipalities, agencies, and ministries. Employees at IGN have professional competencies, which allow for solving problems requiring specific skills or specialised equipment. This may involve analyses, assessments, or risk evaluations.

Authority Service

IGN provides independent research and serves authorities such as agencies, ministries, and international organizations, including the EU, FAO, and the World Health Organization.

Researchers perform authority services for the Ministry of Environment within the framework of the University of Copenhagen's (UCPH) Framework Agreement with the ministry. Additionally, we monitor the health of forests and the development of forestry for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Quality Assurance

IGN/UCPH is based on the Danish Universities' white paper on authority service.

The same principles apply to research-based advice and authority services as to all other research at the University of Copenhagen:

Requirements for good, documented project management, transparent professional peer-review processes, documentation, reproducibility, data and analysis procedure security, accountability, transparency about authorship, and various other aspects following the Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.

IGN's handling of authority tasks and other advisory services must be done in a way that does not raise doubts about the Departments’ scientific integrity and the quality of researchers' work.

This is achieved by:

  • Ensuring the framework for ongoing knowledge accumulation and development of the modeling expertise necessary for the quality of task performance.
  • Ensuring the necessary organizational and administrative conditions for high-quality project management, financial and resource management.
  • Ensuring good communication between the client and the performing researchers.
  • Central to both procedural and professional quality assurance is that all significant agreements regarding task performance must be in writing before the task is initiated, including when the task is considered completed/solved and when the final product can be published.

For professional quality assurance, the relevant coordinators and section leaders also have the daily responsibility to ensure that:

  1. Professional reports, notes, etc., are read and assessed by several experts before publication.
  2. The client and possibly other stakeholders receive publications, etc., for comment before publication.
  3. There is transparency and documentation about who, according to 1 and 2, has commented.
  4. It is stated in the reporting if there are varying, professionally founded viewpoints within the research – including the consortium – on central parts of professional conclusions.
  5. The rules on transparent authorship (the Vancouver Declaration) are followed because it is the individual researcher who is responsible for the professional content of their own work, in accordance with university research standards.

Therefore, any completed assessment or advisory task will have a coordinator who is responsible for task completion and one or more co-authors, who are at least involved in initiation, work design, reading and commenting, and publication, and who, of course, adhere to the Vancouver rules for co-authorship.

Co-authors can be colleagues at IGN or competent external collaborators (the selection of these takes place in consultation between the coordinator, head of section, and authority coordinator). This helps ensure that as few people as possible work alone in their field of expertise, that skills and knowledge are built-up among several different people, and that knowledge of authority work is disseminated within and outside of the Department.

A final element in quality assurance concerns timely publication. IGN commits to support this by publishing all notes, reports, etc., including analyses and conclusions, in a form and manner that is accessible, verifiable, and understandable to all interested parties. IGN publishes its own products in authority service. Publication of final versions must occur without undue delay.

IGN also follows the faculties SCIENCE and HEALTH Handbook for Quality Assurance of Research-Based Advisory Services, which contains minimum requirements for documentation and transparency.


The University of Copenhagen has entered into a framework agreement with the Ministry of Environment on research-based authority service. The Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management has project agreements with other ministries.

The framework includes a service agreement describing research-based authority service within the fields of forestry and landscape. The framework and service agreements are 4-year agreements with annual updates. The work programs, which are updated annually, describe the specific tasks and projects expected to be initiated and/or completed in the coming year.

Tasks are mainly solved within the framework of the National Center for Forest, Landscape, and Planning (Forest & Landscape), which is a center across two departments IGN and IFRO (Department of Food and Resource Economics).

New service agreements have been made since 2018 for the fields of Forest and Landscape (IGN) and for Resource and Socioeconomics (Department of Food and Resource Economics - IFRO).

Links to IGN's Agreements

Please find the agreements on the ministers website (in Danish only)

Miniestry of Environment

Ministery for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries


Our results are compiled in reports and notes published on this website, unless another publishing agreement ensures that the product is available to the public.

You can find our publications here