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Collection Policy

The collection policy alignments at the Helsinki University Library

1. We offer services primarily to the teachers, students, researchers and other staff of the Helsinki University, and to the staff of the Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH).

The acquisition of resources is aimed at meeting the requirements of teaching, learning and research at the University.

We develop the material selection in cooperation with the scientific community. We acquire material at the request of our primary clientele in terms of our funds. In addition, the Library’s subject specialists complete the requests by choosing most of the domestic scientific resources and the international material.

We offer course material both to the degree students and to the Open University students of the University of Helsinki.

In order to secure the availability of course materials we cooperate with teachers in selecting new course materials and textbooks. We promote the findability of course materials with various operators in the learning environments. We acquire digital textbooks whenever possible.  As a rule, whenever a digital textbook is available with an unlimited number of concurrent users, it will be acquired and no printed copies will (be purchased). Printed textbooks are only acquired if there are limits to the number of concurrent users or if an e-book does not exist. The budget, the digital availability and the number of examinees affect the number of copies acquired.

2. Our goal is to provide actively used high-quality collections which serve teaching, learning and research at the University.

Vast electronic resources make the basis of our collection. In addition, we acquire printed material if no digital version is available.

We evaluate collections

We survey the relevance of our materials to different client groups and follow the use of our resources. We evaluate our annual subscriptions constantly on the basis of user numbers, feedback, and economic circumstances. We clarify the principles of the long term use of materials.

Our printed collections include seminal works in science, and high-quality, actively used materials. We weed out materials that are not used, are worn out and cannot be repaired at reasonable cost, or materials that include outdated information. Those journals and books weeded out, but still considered worth saving in Finland, will be send to the National Repository Library. We recognize, evaluate and describe the Library’s special collections.


At the University of Helsinki theses are published and saved digitally in the E-thesis database. Theses are openly accessible and printable for personal use. In case a writer of a thesis has withdrawn his or her permission to open access, the thesis can be read in the Library premises. The University’s central archive is in charge of permanent e-archiving of theses. Faculties will store paper copies of theses when there are no e-versions available.

Donations and exchanges

We accept materials to our collections only when they are considered to benefit research, teaching, and studying at the University. Donations and exchange publications are evaluated with the same criterion as all other resources when added to the collections.


We increase cooperation with the FinELib-consortium and other scientific libraries. Our most important partners in cooperation are the National Library and the National Repository Library of Finland.

3. We ensure access to resources for the University community

The electronic resources acquired and licensed by the Library can be accessed with the user account to the University network in accordance with the terms of use. The campus libraries provide printed materials. Customers without user accounts to the university network are given access to electronic materials in the campus libraries. Within limits, we ensure that the university community can, when needed, access materials that are not included in our licensed and acquired resources.

We promote the diverse use of materials by improving accessibility. To reach this goal we produce, for instance, standardized description data and utilize it in our information systems. We develop information systems more user friendly. We inform the university community of the new materials and resources available in varied ways.

We digitalize valuable printed materials in our collections and make them openly accessible.

4. We promote the open access in science

By promoting open access publishing at the University, we advance the visibility, availability and global spread of research data and publications produced at the University of Helsinki.

We support parallel archiving of articles in Helda - the Digital Repository of the University of Helsinki. We develop and carry out pilot projects in cooperation with various publishers, researchers, libraries, and other operators in order to find new ways of supporting the science community in open publishing of research articles and monographs.

The doctoral dissertations of the University of Helsinki are primarily published digitally in the E-thesis database. The Library receives one printed copy of each dissertation.

We increase the university community’s awareness of high-quality open access resources regarding research, teaching and studying.