23 February 2010
The National Research Environment
The overall science and innovation policy is prepared by the Science and Technology Policy Council of Finland, reporting directly to the Government and headed by the Prime Minister. Finnish science and technology policy is mainly implemented through Ministry of Education and Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Science policy, basic research and education is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education which oversees Finnish Universities and the Academy of Finland (a research council that supports all basic research).
Technology policy and the related goal-oriented industrial research is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Trade and Industry which oversees Tekes - National Technology Agency of Finland (a research council supporting applied research and technology development) and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Sectoral issues are dealt with by relevant ministries, which have their own government research institutes and competitive research funding to commission policy oriented research.
State Research Institutes
Public RTD-expenditure: The total public expenditure for research was 1,6 billlion eur (in 2005). That is about 30% of the total RTD-expenditure in Finland. The bulk (70%) is carried out by private companies. Finland spends 3,4% of its GDP for RTD – one of the highest percentages in the world. It is also notable, that 50% of the public RTD-efforts are based on free competition organised mainly by Tekes and Academy of Finland.
Major research funders
The Ministry of Education officially supports Open Access of science by recommending it to everybody in Finnish scientific institutions and by funding it.
Institution: Academy of Finland
Status: not yet developed an OA policy of its own but is interested in discussing the matter with relevant parties in the fields of publishing and science.
Institution: Universities Finland (Unifi) formerly the Finnish Council of University Rectors (founded in 1969), a co-operational organisation for Finnish universities
Status: signed the Berlin Open Access Declaration and several other definitions of OA policies.
Institution: University of Helsinki
Status: has an OA policy – a self-archiving open access mandate.
Institution: University of Tampere
Status: has an OA policy which strongly recommends researchers to self-archive.
Institution: University of Jyväskylä
Status: planning on implementing a policy similiar to the policy at University of Tampere.
Also several polytechnics have OA policies of their own. However, their research publication output is minimal compared to universities and scientific institutions.
EC research funding
EU funding is significant for all universities and most research institutions in Finland.
Open Access and Repositories
The awareness of Open Access varies greatly from one researcher to another. There are some fields of science (such as physics) where Open Access is more likely to be widely adopted, but there is also a lot of confusion and misunderstanding when it comes to the concept of Open Access, especially with regards to the institutional mandates the universities have implemented or plan to implement. In general, funder mandates seem to be better known in the fields where they apply.
OA initiatives in Finland
There is a project led by the National Library of Finland, University of Helsinki and the University of Oulu (until the end of 2010) to develop and implement DSpace repositories and raise awareness among researchers about the issues related to Open Access and Copyright. Link to project wiki
Open Access repositories in Finland
Most universities run their own repositories. Those who don't run their own systems, are using the Doria Repository Systems provided by the National Library of Finland.
Since none of the universities had mandated Open Access to peer-reviewed journal articles until early 2010, the repositories are still mostly used for depositing materials such as student thesis, course and other study material as well as other publications by the university.
OA journals in Finland
There are 38 OA journals in Finland. Overall, there are around 70 peer-reviewed journals published in Finland, most of which receive subsidies from Academy of Finland or Ministry of Education. There is still a strong apprehension that Open Access will eventually be the end of smaller scholarly journals published in Finnish and Swedish and thus "be the end of sciences in national languages".
One of the key issues to discuss in the near future in Finland is the basis for publication subsidies. Should they encourage the scholarly societies and other smaller publishers to publish digital versions on the web rather than pay for the printing and distribution costs, would it be much easier for the societies to consider an open access publishing model as an option or let the universities deposit the copies of the articles in their repositories.
Open Access organisations in Finland
FinnOA is made up of a group of professionals interested in promoting open access to scientific information. The members mainly come from academia, libraries and data management. Initially FinnOA concentrated on studying and promoting different open access publishing methods but today it is focusing on the whole spectrum of scientific knowledge production and dissemination. In particular it is working on issues related to open access to publicly funded research data.
DSpace User Group was formed under a project led by the National Library of Finland. Its focus is on technical development of repositories at universities.
Contributors Contact Details
Liisa Siipilehto, Helsinki University Library
Phone: +358 50 4155318
Address: P.O. BOX 62
00014 University of Helsinki