OA in Finland

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.

In 2012, R&D expenditure represented 3.6 % of the gross domestic product (GPD), a total sum of approximately seven billion euros and that of public research funding was around 1% (https://openscience.fi).

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


Funder and institutional mandates

Institution: Academy of Finland
Status: "We require that Academy-funded projects commit to open access publishing. We urge projects to make their research data and methods freely available. The goal is to make research publications, data and material, metadata and methods widely available for further use. If researchers follow the principles of open science, they must do so with due consideration of research ethics and the judicial environment." (Updated 25.4.2016 from http://www.aka.fi/en/funding/responsible-research/open-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: Aalto University
Status: has an OA policy – a self-archiving open access mandate. (http://libguides.aalto.fi/c.php?g=410663&p=2798228)

Institution: Lappeenranta University of Technology
Status: has an OA policy which recommends researchers to self-archive. (http://www.lut.fi/web/en/library/for-researchers/open-access-publishing)

Institution: University of Helsinki
Status: has an OA policy – a self-archiving open access mandate. (http://libraryguides.helsinki.fi/oa)

Institution: University of Jyväskylä
Status: has an OA policy which strongly recommends researchers to self-archive. (http://openaccess.jyu.fi/en/oaju)

Institution: University of Tampere
Status: has an OA policy – a self-archiving open access mandate. (http://www.uta.fi/english/research/OA/OA_at_UTA.html)

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

The Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland launched the Open Science and Research Initiative (ATT) for the promotion of research information availability and open science platform for the years 2014-2017The main goal of the Open Science and Research Initiative is for Finland to become one of the leading countries in openness of science and research by the year 2017.

The ambition is to promote the trustworthiness of open science and research and to incorporate them in to the whole research process, thus improving visibility and impact of science in the innovation system and society at large. By supporting the culture of open science within the research community, the societal impressiveness of open science grows. In addition to opening up both the results and raw data, the ambition is to build a sustainable information infrastructure in conjunction with a variety of sophisticated tools and methods to promote long­‐term availability and accessibility of results. Practically, the aim is to provide researchers with tangible knowledge in how they as individuals can implement openness.

More about ATT-initiative: https://openscience.fi/

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.

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.

Contributors Contact Details

Pauli Assinen, Helsinki University Library

Phone: +358 50 4154483
Address: P.O. BOX 53
00014 University of Helsinki

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