Finland has a long tradition in supporting OA in various declarations. However, it is only recently that concrete actions have been taken towards a state where all research data and publications are freely available. The share of OA is increasing. At the moment it is estimated that about 20% of all scientific articles are OA, out of which 12% are green and the remaining constitute of hybrids and publications with an embargo (Björk et al. 2013).In the beginning of 2013 there were 14 universities, 25 polytechnics and circa 316000 students enrolled in Finland. The number of government funded research institutes is close to 17 depending on the definition.

As of July 2015, OpenDOAR registers 15 OA repositories in Finland. DOAJ indexes 39 Finnish OA journals.

29 January, 2014: The Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) introduced an Open Access mandate which applies to all written publications published by the NCM from 1 June 2014 onwards. The mandate and its effectiveness is to be evaluated annually by the NCM. In a second step, planned to be initiated during 2014, the Open Access mandate will be further developed and made applicable also to all written publications funded or co-funded by NCM grants or under NCM contracts. It was recommended that all written publications published by the NCM are published with a Creative Commons license, preferably CC-BY or CC-BY SA. This mandate applies to the NCM secretariatNordForsk, Nordic InnovationNordic Energy ResearchNordicomNordic School of Public HealthNordregio, and Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues.

The Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) is a publically funded co-operation between the governments of the Nordic countries (

Currently, 28 institutional OA policies are registered in ROARMAP.

Enabling Environment:

FinnOA working group was founded in 2003 to promote the spread of OA. It consists of representative members from university faculty and research staff, scholarly publishers and libraries.The Finnish Council of University Rectors (UNIFI) signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2006. Still at the moment self-archiving is required only by the University of Helsinki and supported by the Universities of Tampere and Jyväskylä. The Rectors' Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (ARENE) signed a statement in 2009 where they agree to self-archive all publication in an institutional repository.

In 2011 the Government Programme promised to make available digital data materials managed by the public sector for research and education purposes in an easily reusable format via information networks. To implement this Programme the Ministry of Education and Culture started a project called TTA where the aim is to create a national OA related science policy and build infrastructure for HEIs. For this the Ministry of Education and Culture buys collaborative data services from state owned CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd. The Academy of Finland is the main funder and recommends publishing in OA journals whenever possible

Potential Barriers:

In general there is a lack of incentive, some legal barriers (related to immaterial rights) and lack of awareness among the research community. 

Small scholarly journals are concerned that OA might make publishing in national languages redundant. 

The second largest funder TEKES supports a wide distribution of the research results they have funded but does not endorse OA as such.

Major Projects/Initiatives:

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. On 25th November 2014, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland released The Open Science and Research Roadmap 2014–2017The project focuses on three factors: (i) Scientific publications (storage, metadata service and accessibility services of publications); (ii) Research data (storage, metadata service and accessibility of data) and (iii) Research methods (storage, metadata services and accessibility of methods).

Nordic Perspectives on Open Access and Open Science. Seminar in Helsinki, October 15. 2013. 

Open Repositories 2014. Conference in Helsinki, from 9.-13. June, 2014

Other projects:

The university libraries are involved in ongoing European projects such as OpenAire 2020 and Pasteur4OA

National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:

The Ministry of Education and Culture officially supports OA. A proposal for a national policy is in circulation for comments. The proposal recommends gold or green OA and rejects hybrid. A related funding scheme is also in the making.

Details of Key Organizations:

Academy of Finland 

Overview: The largest funding body in Finland. Their aim is to finance high-quality scientific research, act as a science and science policy expert, and strengthen the position of science and research. The Academy works to contribute to the renewal, diversification and increasing internationalization of Finnish scientific research. 


Overview: TEKES is the second largest funding body in Finland. They concentrate in technology and innovation. 

Federation of Finnish Learned Societies 

Overview: A national co-operative body for learned societies in Finland. It issues statements, launches initiatives and makes recommendations relating to academic research, especially when it serves to promote the interests of 260 member societies. It also supports learned societies in their publishing activities by providing distribution and storage services and consultation. 


Overview: FinnOa is constituted by a group of professionals interested in promoting open access to scientific information. These people come mainly from the academia, libraries and data management. 

The National Library of Finland 

Overview: The National Library of Finland provides centralized repository platform services for 38 organisations, including many of the Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences. It also operates the national FinELib consortium, which acquires electronic resources centrally on behalf of its member organisations. 

University of Helsinki 

Overview: The oldest and largest university in Finland and a leading player in OA initiatives. The University’s digital depository, HELDA, contains full-text materials produced at the University. 

CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd 

Overview: CSC is a wholly government-owned special task company, which develops and provides IT services for research, teaching, culture and administrative purposes. CSC’s main customers are the Ministry of Education and Culture and the organizations coming under it, higher education institutions and research institutes. 


Overview: The Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD) is a national resource centre for social science research and teaching. FSD archives, promotes and disseminates digital research data for research, teaching and learning purposes. The archive is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture and is a separate unit of the University of Tampere. 

Ministry of Education and Culture 

Overview: Within the Finnish Government, the Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for developing educational, science, cultural, sport and youth policies and international cooperation in these fields. 

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

20 October 2015: Open Science Workshop; Helsinki, Finland. This is an Open Access Week 2015 event and is one of the 24 OA training programmes supported by FOSTER for 2015.

14-16 October 2015: International Workshop on Forest Science Publishing, Helsinki, Finland. This will be the first activity of the new Working Party of IUFRO (International Union of Forest Research Organisations). The aim of the working party is to provide a forum for discussions, training, exchange of ideas, and development of editorial practices of journals dealing with forests, wood science, and related research. The Working Party and its first meeting are expected to be of special interest to the editors and editorial board members of peer-reviewed forest science journals for discussing timely issues on scientific publishing. A second session open to the wider forest and environmental science community in Finland, will also be organized; especially for young scientists. 

11-12 May 2015: YEAR Annual Conference 2015: Open Science; Helsinki, Finland. The two-day annual conference was hosted by VTT and co-funded by FOSTER. This year’s topic was Open Science in Horizon 2020. 

10 March 2015: Open Science Show and Tell; Helsinki, Finland.

20 October 2014: International Open Access Week Events: Open Science- Impact and Research Funding; University of Helsinki, Finland.

15-16 September 2014: Open Finland 2014 Exhibits the Opportunities of Open Data; Helsinki, Finland.

9-13 June 2014: Open Repositories 2014; Helsinki, Finland.

14-15 August, 2014: 'What is the Status of Open Access to Research Data in the Nordic Countries?' To increase and exchange knowledge about the respective Nordic countries’ views on Open Access, NordForsk invited representatives of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the European Commission to a workshop on 14-15 August to discuss Open Access to research data.

Workshop participants were: Hanne-Louise Kirkegaard (Ministry of Higher Education and Science in Denmark), Sami Niinimäki (Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland), Jurki Hakapää (Academy of Finland),  Ásdís Jónsdóttir (Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in Iceland), Roar Skålin (Research Council of Norway), Anna Wetterbom (Swedish Research Council), Leif Laaksonen (Research Data Alliance Europe (RDA) Project coordinator, Finland), Tómas Jóhannesson (Icelandic Meteorological Office and the Nordic Centre of Excellence SVALI), Johanna Ekström (Nordic Biobanking and Molecular Resource Infrastructure (BBMRI Nordic)), Gudmund Høst (Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC)), Riita Mustonen (NordForsk), Anni Hellman (European Commission).

The individual countries and the European Commission each reported on how Open Access is being promoted and regulated in their respective countries/areas. Finland has clearly come the furthest, with broad application of the concept of Open Science, which covers free access both to publications and to data in addition to software and methods. 

The collaborative OA-JES project followed the adoption of OECD Declaration on Access to Research Data from Public Funding in 2004 and resulted in collaboration and the development of D-space as a repository platform, the development of Open Journals System platform for OA publication and the establishment of FinnOA group as a coordinating body.

One of the key OA issues is the basis for publication subsidies for small scholarly publishers, Finnish language publications and their sustainability within an OA publishing environment.

Open Science and Open Data Related Events

August 2016Infrastructures and Networking for Open Science

This national workshop is organized by the Helsinki University Library in cooperation with Finnish Literature Society and OpenAIRE 2020 project.

The focus of the event is on current infrastructures supporting open science at European, national and institutional levels. Another target is to enhance networking between all stakeholders acting towards the advancement of open science.

February 2016Finland in the international Open Science arenas

This event was organized by the Finnish Committee for Research Data (FCRD) for all members of the Finnish research community.

Discussions were held to cover topics such as Finnish research data and international collaboration in the areas of Open Science, data policies and research infrastructures.

The aim of the discussion was to share information of and gather ideas for the Finnish presence in the development of international Open Science.

List of Publications

"OA Business Models for Finnish Scholarly Journals?" Presentation given by Ilva, Jyrki at the Nordic Open Access Forum meeting in Copenhagen, June 24, 2014.

25 September 2014: Finland Plans to Embrace Open Access by 2017 in bid to Raise Public Awareness of Science by Jenny Maukola.

Open Access Situation in Finland 2014 and Earlier by Liisa K Siipilehto; Blog, 

Ilva (2014) Integrating CRIS and repository – an overview of the situation in Finland and in three other Nordic countries: Presentation at Open Repositories 2014, Helsinki, Finland.

Ilva (2014) OA business models for Finnish scholarly journals?Presentation on Nordic Open Access Forum, Copenhagen.

Open Access in Finland 2014 by Turid Hedlund published in Sciecom Info 2 (2014).

National Open Access and Preservation Policies in Europe: Analysis of a Questionnaire to the European Research Area Committee; EUROPEAN UNION, 2011.

Academy of Finland (2010) Academy of Finland Strategy.

Björk, B.-C., Laakso, M., Welling, P. and Paetau, P. (2013). Anatomy of green open access. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci.. doi: 10.1002/asi.22963 

Creelman, A and Forsberg, A (2010) Open educational resources – a resource for learning Sciecom Info Vol.6: 3.

Hedlund, T. and Roos, A. (2013). FinnOA 10 years of open access work and a road map for the future. Sciecom Info, Vol 9, No 2. 

Hedlund, T and Montonen, C (2008) Promoting open access in Finland – the OA-JES project ScieCom info Vol 4: 1.

Hedlund, T (2010) A road map for open access to research results Sciecom Info Vol.6: 2.

Kuula, A and Borg, A (2008) Open Access to and Reuse of Research Data – The State of the Art in Finland. FSD: Tampere.

Open Access Working Group (2005) Recommendations for the promotion of open access in scientific publishing in Finland. Ministry of Education, Finland.

Salokannel, M. (2012). Sharing research data at the Nordic level - A vision for the future Nordic cooperation from Finnish perspective. Sciecom Info, Vol 8, No 1. 

Thorsteinsdóttir, S (2010) OA Mandates and the Nordic Countries  Sciecom Info, Vol. 6, 1.



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