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. According to OpenDOAR there are 14 OA repositories in Finland. DOAJ indexes 40 Finnish OA journals

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:

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. 

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:

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.

List of Publications

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.


(Modified on December 2013)

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